Photopites, Spicy Dough Fritters from Amorgos

I am very intrigued by these very special Epiphany fritters of Amorgos, the southernmost island of the Cyclades. Instead of the plain water or milk used in the dough fritters of Greece and the Middle East (called lokma, zalabia etc.), photopites are made with a spicy brew laced with hot peppers, and scented with bay leaves and anise seeds. I have no idea where the recipe comes from; I suspect that it was either brought to the island by North African sailors, or is a medieval remnant of the savory-spicy-sweet dishes that we still find in some Aegean islands.

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Makes about 50 walnut-size fritters (more…)

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Kean Amygdalota (Flourless Almond Cookies)

The flourless almond cookies of Kea are traditional festive treats prepared for weddings and christenings and for other joyous family occasions. They are the perfect kosher-for-Passover sweet, as a participant in our classes pointed out, watching my neighbor Zenovia prepare amygdalota.

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Most people now use blanched almonds, but I find that, although less attractive, cookies made with whole, un-skinned nuts are equally delicious, not to mention a bit less labor-intensive — if you’re starting from the harvest-field. (more…)

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Amygdalota –Lemon-Scented Flourless Almond Cookies

Traditionaly these fragrant cookies are scented with orange flower water, but I prefer to use the very aromatic zest of my lemons. They can also be made with tangerines, when in season. I use lemons from my garden or organic lemons in my recipes. If you cannot find organic lemons, wash your lemons thoroughly.

See also the baked Kean Almond Cookies

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Makes About 50 Cookies (more…)

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