I’m going to present you two pastry recipes that I’ve made recently, which have a certain connection to Greece. That’s why I called this post Pies with Greek Flavours. First one is a double crust pie, the other is a cheesecake. I haven’t baked a double crust pie for quite a lot of time: actually, I don’t like pastry that much, as I prefer leavened dough… But making pastry always puts me in a special hmmm patissier mood=) I mean, I regard it as doing something sophisticated and quite challenging, as these pastry pies always tend to leak or their crust burns or they don’t want to get out of the pan…
Ok, now on to the first recipe.
It’s not exactly a Greek recipe, though, but it calls for the best Ellada can offer you when you’re quite far from it… canned peaches! =) Greeks call it komposta which is a very funny – to say the least – word as it reminds you of, well, compost… 😉 But of course, just forget about it. We got such komposta as a dessert at our free student meals in Thessaloniki and I managed to eat only the peach half, although more courageous (well, just accustomed) Greeks also drank the syrup. For me the thing is over sweet and so I usually use it for sweets, like Mini Peach Strudels, Cornmeal Cake with Peaches + Rosemary or Tart with Cream and Peaches. It is for them that I now go to a certain supermarket more frequently than I used to – they sell huge tins of Greek peaches at just about 2$! I feel that even with such a laughable sum, I’m however ‘paying back’ for those peaches and warm, wholesome meals we were given free at leshi (students’ club) in Thessaloniki.
So here comes Peach and Blueberry Pie – for the recipe go to one of my favourite sources for sweet things mostly, www.joythebaker.com.
What I did, was using canned Greek peaches and frozen Russian black currants (from our dacha place, and guess what? I have realised that the enoooormous stock in the freezer has diminished!) instead of fresh peaches & berries =) Perhaps, I would use less cornstarch next time, as it created a rather sticky filling.
This is how my pie looked before baking (I was adding lots of brown sugar – instead of regular white – and cinnamon at this moment) …
… and after:
and from another side …
=) The peaches actually got coloured a bit blueish with the berries, the sweetness was balanced with the natural sourness of black currants, and the crust was amazingly NOT soggy and not falling apart or anything. So I would definitely encourage you to make it!
Here is yet another recipe using Greek ingredients but being definitely not Greek on the whole. Actually, I was looking for a recipe to use my leftover yolk and two cups of
fake Greek yoghurt I recklessly bought with a discount without paying any attention to its shelf life… And I found this one, which perfectly (almost=) met my requirements. This is how I discovered a new site, whatsgabycooking.com.
Greek Yogurt Cheesecake for the recipe go to whatsgabycooking.com
The only change I made was to cut down on butter (as usual) and to use 7.5% Polish fake Greek yoghurt instead of the authentic 2%… I also used a smaller pan to substitute beans / rice when pre-baking the crust. The crust shrank while pre-baking and so when I poured the filling over, the latter spread outside the crust a bit, creating this:
Compared to the cheesecake that you can see on the original site, mine is thinner, although when I took it out of the oven, it seemed quite puffed.
But from the other side (is there is a side to a circle…=) the rim looks better:
The bottom separated from the pan quite easily and the filling was not leaking through the springform while baking. The texture is nice; it is really sweet & vanilla-flvoured, and I would add some fruit to it (fresh, like a slice of apple / pear) , just as the original recipe suggests.
Happy (Greek) baking!
P.S. Could not fit my story about USSR into a post about Greece, sorry =)