Sfakian pie (Sfakiani pita)
One of the most authentic Cretan flavors is Sfakian pie (Sfakiani pita).
Sfakian pie is a special thin pancake, like a crepe, stuffed with local soft cheese. A pie that few can resist.
Sfakiani pita, as we understand from its name, is a native of the country of Sfakion with its fame having spread throughout Crete.
Sfakia is a barren and harsh area, with the largest percentage of the inhabitants being engaged in animal husbandry and a lot in beekeeping, the raw materials that exist are the dairy products from sheep and goats, the excellent thyme honey, the olive oil and a few cereals. These are exactly the ingredients we need for Sfakiani pita.
As we will see below, one of the ingredients is xinomyzithra, with the characteristic acidity, but from whole milk. If you do not find sour mizithra, you can also make them with sweet mizithra, which, however, does not give the necessary intensity to the taste, giving a neutral result.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup fresh mizithra (preferably sour mizithra - xinomyzithra)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ cup of water
- half a shot of raki (tsikoudia)
- a little oil for frying
In a bowl, mix the flour, oil, raki, salt and water and knead until a soft dough is formed.
Cover well to rest for about 1 hour.
Then cut the dough into pieces of a fuchta and place a spoonful of mizithra in each of them.
If you use xinomyzithra then you must first "break" the xinomyzithra with a fork until it becomes an ointment. Thus, the cheese is felt, its milky aromas flood the mouth and the freshness of the acidity adds the necessary intensity to the whole.
Let them rest for a while and then take each ball of dough and with the help of the rolling pin open it on a floured counter, in pies with a diameter of 15-20 cm.
After each opening, flour and turn on the other side, until you achieve the desired thickness in a round shape, as thin as you can.
Put a spoonful of oil in a non-stick pan, so that the pies do not stick, and bake them for 1 minute on each side.
Serve hot, drizzled with honey and accompanied by iced raki (tsikoudia).