Serve with vanilla or mastic-scented ice cream.
For an 8-inch cake, plus 9 small cup cakes (more…)
A specialty of Chania, Crete, this delicious sweet, is traditionally prepared for weddings and engagements, as well as for Epiphany. It is quite easy to make, but it’s time consuming, so most families have stopped making the sweet at home and order it from one or two specialty stores that prepare it in Chania. This recipe was given to me by Mrs. Hara Papadaki, owner of the last bell foundry in Chania.
Makes about 30 (more…)
Old dough starter was used in the past. Today many women use baking powder, but the texture and lightness of the yeast is very important, I think. Traditionally the first of the lalangia was shaped in the form of a cross, and the last ones like little dolls, for the children of the family.
For about 50 pieces (more…)
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.
Makes about 50 walnut-size fritters (more…)
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.
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…)