Imagine delicious packets of golden pastry wrapped around a melty cheese filling. These traditional little cheese pies (pitarakia) from the island of Milos will amaze you! Discover how to make them to perfection with this traditional Greek recipe.
For the dough
- 250g all-purpose flour (9 ounces)
- 120ml lukewarm water (1/2 cup)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (or 1 tbsp lemon juice)
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the filling
- 1/2 red onion, grated
- 80g pecorino sardo, grated (3 ounces)
- 60g emmental or regato cheese, grated (2 ounces)
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp fresh mint, chopped (optional)
- oil for frying
- To prepare these delicious Greek cheese pies, start by making the dough. Add the flour into a large bowl; using your hands make a dimple in the middle and pour in the olive oil, the vinegar and salt.
- Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients by hand, whilst adding gradually the lukewarm water, until the dough is soft and smooth. If the dough is too sticky add a little bit more flour. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the filling; grate the cheese and blend with the mint.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough (approx. 0.2cm thick), on a floured surface, and cut some circles (about 12 cm diameter), as seen in the picture. Place a full spoon of the filling on each circle and fold the dough, creating a half-moon. Join the edges well, using a fork.
- Fry the cheese pies in hot oil, at medium-high heat; when one side becomes golden, turn them on the other side. Remove the pies with a slotted spoon and place on some kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil. Enjoy while still warm!
- Traditionally, these Greek cheese pies (pitarakia), are made with “Milos cheese”, which is a kind of yellow, dry and salty cheese produced in Milos. As it is highly unlikely to find it anywhere else, the best alternative is to use a mixture of pecorino and emmental or regato cheese. If you, like me, love feta chesse, then a really delicious variation is to use for the filling feta cheese and a nice hard yellow cheese
Keywords: cheese pies, fried cheese pie recipe, pitarakia, how to make cheese pies