My favorite melopita (apple pie)…

…is actually a tart, very popular in urban areas of Chania (Crete) during the 1980’s.
It was never called a tart, though.

At that time there have been two major waves of foreign influence in Greek food: the French and the Italian one. To these must be added the significant Asian influence that affected restaurants in big cities and the profound American influence in the fast food area. That cultural and culinary blending was also the most striking feature of women’s magazine cookery columns.
However, the label kitsch should applied to this culinary pluralism. Mixtures of elements deriving from several cuisines and the use of crème fraîche became commonplace. Pasta, vegetables, meat, were buried under a mountain of crème fraîche, sweet and sour sauces for pork and chicken gained increasing popularity.

But
this recipe is for a very scrumptious tart.
Soft, slightly sour myzithra or fresh, buttery anthotyros replace the sharp cheddar cheese that is baked into the crust in the original recipe. Apple pie with cheese is common combination in parts of New England and the Midwest… some people grate it into the filling or bake it into the crust.

 

 

The Cretan twist

Crust

1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter

1/4 cup  icing sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

ice water

1 1/2 cup  flour

1/2 cup  myzithra or anthotyro or ricotta cheese

1/3 tsp grated lemon zest

 

Filling

6 apples with firm flesh (+-900 gr)

3 tbsp butter

1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar

1/2- 2/3 tbs ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp grated lemon zest

sugar

1 cup almonds, blanched and rough chopped

 

Stir together flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Add butter and cheese and blend with your fingertips  until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk, 4 tbsp ice water  and  stir  until incorporated. Add more ice water if needed; the dough must be soft and elastic.

Roll out dough and fit it into a tart plate. Trim edges.

Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 200 C degrees.

Peel and core apples. Cut them into 2 cm thick.

Stir together apples, sugar, butter, cinnamon, lemon zest.

Spoon filling into tart crust.

Sprinkle sugar on top and bake until crust is golden-brown and filling is tender.

 

 

ΓΙΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΕΔΩ.


Apple Pie

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5 thoughts on “My favorite melopita (apple pie)…

  1. Sometimes nothing is quite as good as the original, but if you can’t find fresh mizithra, ricotta cheese is a good substitute.

  2. Looks absolutely delicious. Just don’t understand the name. Surely melopita would have to have honey in it (*melo*….) I suppose you could use honey instead of the sugar.

  3. Melopita= melo (μήλο apple) and pita (pie). So, the name doesn’t mean honey, though you can use it instead of the sugar.

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