It’s so wonderful to welcome back my fabulous Auntie Loulla to the blog.
Auntie Loulla (Loulla Astin) is my mother’s sister and the award winning restaurateur of the famous Kosmos Greek Taverna in Manchester.
Her career has seen her cook on TV many times including presenting her own cookery series on SKY and she was even invited to meet The Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Here, she shares one of my kids’ favourite recipes EVER, the Greek Cypriot sweet treat they adore to eat: fried sweet cheese ravioli (Bourekakia tis Anaris).
It’s a recipe which goes back many years but is still incredibly popular amongst Cypriots today.
Bourekakia can also be savoury too, filled with minced meat or Halloumi cheese but my favourite style ravioli desserts are filled with soft cheese and sugar.
You’ll find a similar recipe to this in Crete but those sweet bites are known as ‘Kalitsounia Tiganita’ over there.
Why don’t you try them yourself?
Makes approx. 25-30
For the pastry:
350g (12oz) plain flour
a pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
50g (2oz) vegetable fat or 6tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Approx. 150ml (¼ pint) lukewarm water
For the filling:
2 x 250g tub Ricotta, Anari, Myzithra’ or Manouri cheese
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp rose water
4 stones of mastic, ground (optional)
vegetable oil for deep frying
icing for decoration
First make the pastry. Sift the flour into a large bowl with the salt, add the fat or oil and using the tips of your fingers, rub the fat into the flour.
Add the egg yolk, lemon juice and the water mix to soft dough and knead well until smooth. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
To make the filling, cream the cheese, sugar, cinnamon, rose water, lemon rind and egg if you are using one.
Knead the pastry lightly and divide into three balls, rolling the pieces out thinly on to a floured board.
Cut the pastry into 11 cm (4½inch) discs and place 1 heaped teaspoon of the cheese filling in to the centre of each one.
Moisten the edges with water, fold over into a half moon shape and press the edges with the back of a fork to seal.
Place the finished ravioli onto a tray lined with a clean cloth until you are ready to fry them. You may freeze them at this stage. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or deep fryer to 190°C or until a cube of bread turns golden quickly.
Fry the pastries a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides which is approximately 2 minutes.
Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Place them in a serving dish and sprinkle with icing sugar.