Honey and Cheese Cake (Siphnopitta)
A Greek Easter specialty, especially renowned on the island of Siphnos. Myzithra,
a soft, fresh, unsalted cheese made from sheep's milk, is used there, but ricotta
cheese may be substituted.
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter,
chilled (2 sticks)
- 1 pound ricotta cheese
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup honey,
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (divided)
- Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processor.
Work the chilled butter into the flour mixture with your hands, or with short
pulses if using a food processor. Gradually add 3 to 4 tablespoons water, just
enough to make the dough hold together in a soft ball. Handle it no further,
wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for about 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a deep 10-inch pie pan with the dough by patting it out with your palm
(it is easier than trying to roll out this rich dough).
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
- Mix the cheese, eggs, honey (start with the lesser quantity and taste before
you add more, as it might be too sweet for you), and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Blend
- Let the empty baked shell cool before filling. (If it is hot, it will disintegrate.)
- Pour the cheese mixture gently into the pastry base and bake for about 35
minutes, until it is firm and the top is golden.
- Dust with the remaining cinnamon and let the cake cool before serving.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Source: The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden