Kypriaki Tyropita is a delicious Cypriot savoury cake which is made with halloumi, oil, eggs, milk and lots of mint in it.
Tyropita pronounced tee-RHO-pee-tah) means cheese from the word tyri (cheese) and pita (pie).
The word “tyropita” has a very wide meaning and it can be anything with cheese, made with homemade phyllo, store bought phyllo pastry, puff pastry, kourou pastry, kataifi pastry, or with bread dough and cheese in it, which we make during Easter, a savoury bread (cake) with eggs or even a sweet pastry.
The variety of cheeses to use are endless: halloumi, Paphitiko cheese, feta, graviera, kefalotyri, kefalograviera, anthotyros, myzithra the list is endless.
Although the cake Kypriaki Tyropita, is strictly made with halloumi, a mixture of the above cheeses can be combined or even some cheese from other countries can be substituted as well. (See my list of Greek and Cypriot cheeses to see some of the substitutes you can use).
Can you think of a better way to start your breakfast?
I am sure you can, but here’s a kind of breakfast we have in Cyprus.
It’s a a Halloumi bread or cake, with lots and lots of mint in it. When you think you’ve added enough mint, just add some more.
The cheese we usually use is aged, homemade halloumi but of course you can use any kind of halloumi, provided you can grate it.
This is the perfect cheese to make the Cypriot Tyropita or Halloumopita.
I don’t say that the halloumi we get in the supermarkets is not good but if you have tasted homemade halloumi, which is quite usual in Cyprus, made with ewe’s and goat milk only then you will know the difference.
When halloumi is made fresh, it is soft, creamy and rubbery in texture and mildly salty and minty in taste. It is preserved in brine, so as it ages it becomes harder and saltier, with a much robust texture, which makes it easier to grate and the taste gets much better as it ages.
Are you having some friends over for a cup of coffee or a cup of tea? This tyropita is easy to make and you will surely please your guests. No mixer is required, you just mix everything together and bake.
Ingredients to make Kypriaki Tyropita:
Now I know some of you can’t find halloumi where you live, but don’t worry. Believe me before 2008 it was impossible to find halloumi even in Greek supermarkets and whenever we went to Cyprus, it was the first in my list to bring back with us.
Now you can find it easily but even if you live somewhere where you can’t, you can buy it online.
Some times, when I didn’t have halloumi, I substituted it with other Greek cheeses, such as graviera, kefalograviera, ladotyri Mytilinis, or kefalotyri.
Kefalograviera or a mixture of kefalotyri and graviera is what I used most of the times when I did not have halloumi.
If you cannot get hold of Greek cheeses, try it with pecorino, Parmesan or Gruyere.
In Cyprus we used to make this tyropita with peanut oil. In Greece I make it with a good quality of mild olive oil. If your olive oil is too strong, you can mix it with some vegetable oil or just use your favourite vegetable oil.
You can use any kind of milk you like but I like using evaporated milk, for its distinct flavour.
In the recipe I use self-raising flour. However, if you run out of it, you can make it yourself. For each cup all-purpose flour, add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 1/2 tsp baking powder.
I prefer to use dried mint (about a handful). Dried mint is more concentrated than fresh mint. You can use fresh mint if you like. Add about 1 cup, finely chopped.
I use 5 large eggs. If for any reason you want to use less, just add less flour.
What else can I make with this mixture?
The same mixture can be used to make mini halloumi muffins with or without phyllo.
The idea of lining the muffin tin with phyllo was an original idea of mine several years ago, when I made the Sweet tyropita (Cheese Pie).
You do not need to use muffin cases but as I was taking them to an event, in the end I put them in the muffin cases for a better presentation and to avoid greasing our hands.
This and many more recipes are included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!
See how crunchy it is outside and how moist inside.
- 3 cups grated halloumi cheese
- 5 large eggs
- 1 can (410 grams – 14.45 oz) evaporated milk
- 1 cup peanut oil or good quality mild olive oil
- 5 - 6 tbsp dried mint or 1 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 2½ - 3 cups of self-raising flour
- In a big bowl whisk the eggs (no mixer required), add the grated cheese, the oil, milk, dried mint (be generous with it) and the flour.
- Mix for a few minutes until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Grease and flour a 22 cm (8 3/4 inch) Bundt form or a 26 cm round baking tin.
- Pour in the mixture and bake in a preheated oven to 180o C / 350o F for about 50 minutes to one hour until the crust is golden brown.
Nutrition InformationYield 24 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 294Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 51mgSodium 587mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 2gSugar 0gProtein 9g
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!