Tahinopita is a Cypriot bread filled with tahini, sugar and cinnamon. It is shaped into a coil, fattened and baked. The traditional Cypriot Tahinopita is amazing but can it get any better? The answer is YES.
You may know by now how I love to tweak recipes.
I’ve made this recipe before a long time ago and we loved it. However, it wasn’t “nistisimi” (Lenten) as I had added some lemon curd in the filling.
I made the recipe again making several changes to make it Lenten by making an apple pudding. Apart from the addition of honey, which is allowed during Orthodox fasting, it can easily become vegan by substituting honey with brown sugar.
The recipe may seem a bit complicated because of the many ingredients listed but it is not as difficult as it may seem. If you can roll out the dough the rest is very easy.
You will not regret it as the taste is amazing! The dough, which is very aromatic, encases a filling of tart apples, both in the cream but there are also some whole pieces, the lemon flavour is also there, which pairs well with the tahini, the honey and cinnamon.
A perfect, healthy snack packed with nutrients to enjoy for breakfast or with a cup of Greek coffee!
For the dough:
- 350 grams of all purpose flour
- 20 grams fresh yeast or 1 sachet dried (8 grams)
- 60 grams (¼ cup) sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¾ tsp powdered mastic and mahleb
- About ¾ cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
For the filling:
- 150 grams tahini
- 100 grams (about 4 tablespoons) honey
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar
- All the apple sauce
- 1 apple, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and thinly sliced
For the apple sauce:
- 1 large apple (270 grams), peeled and cut into smaller pieces
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 50 grams (¼ cup) brown sugar
- 50 g. (1 heaped tablespoon) honey
- 1 fragrant geranium leaf (optional)
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- 50 grams cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp vegan margarine
To brush on top:
- 2 tbsp olive oil or other oil
- Pound 1/2 tsp mahleb and 2 - 3 tears of mastic resin together with 1/2 tsp sugar, until powdered.
- Dissolve the yeast with 2 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 of the lukewarm water. Cover and set aside until it bubbles. Put the yeast in the mixer bowl, add the remaining flour, the remaining sugar, the mastic and mahleb powder and the remaining lukewarm water. Attach the hook to the mixer and mix until all the dough is attached to the hook. Test if it is sticky when pressed. If it is add more flour.
- Form the dough into a ball and wet it with the olive oil. Cover with cling film and cover with a napkin. Set aside at warm room temperature, until it rises (about 1 hour, depending on the weather).
- Put the water in a small pot together with the lemon juice. Add the apples, honey and sugar, lemon zest and fragrant geranium and cook until the apple becomes soft, about ten minutes. Remove from the heat and mash the apple using a fork or with the balloon whisk. You can leave the fragrant geranium in, as it is edible.
- Dissolve the corn flour (starch) with water and add it to the apples. Put it back on the heat and mix with the balloon whisk until it sets. Mix in the margarine and set aside until it cools.
- Simultaneously combine tahini, honey and cinnamon and mix with a spoon or in a food processor to make a paste. If it is too thick, add a few tablespoons warm water and mix until a runny consistency.
- Flour your working surface. Knead the dough for a few seconds and flatten it. and flatten it with your hands giving it an oblong shape. Roll out the dough and make a rectangular dough until it reached 1/2 cm thick.
- Spread the tahini mixture to cover the whole surface, leaving an empty margin of about 3 cm on all sides.
- Spread the apple pudding on top of the tahini mixture.
- Peel, core and cut the apple into thin slices. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and place the apple slices on top of the apple pudding, along the centre of the larger side of the dough. Brush the sides with olive oil.
- Fold first the two smaller sides and then cover the filling with the two other sides, to enclose the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 180ο C.
- Line a baking tin with parchment paper and place the dough, seam facing down. Brush with olive oil and lightly score into pieces.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for about half an hour or until golden brown on top.
- Set aside to cool, allowing the filling to set, before cutting the bread.
a. All the ingredients listed have been weighed and counted using measuring cups. However, for easy reference, I mention how much honey I used, in normal spoons.
b. For those who are vegan, honey can be substituted with brown sugar.
c. The ingredients mentioned in the directions are calculated and listed in the ingredients.
d. If we want the bread without any oil, we can skip the margarine in the pudding and brush the dough with orange juice, instead of olive oil.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!