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HALLOUMOPITA

Updated: Jan 31

(HALLOUMI PIE)

SERVES 10-12 | PREPARATION TIME: 1 HOUR | COOKING TIME: 40 MINUTES


This recipe calls for mehlepi (an aromatic spice) and mastiha (mastic gum) which are used widely in Cyprus and the Middle East. If you can’t get hold of these ingredients, you can just leave them out.


INGREDIENTS

For the pastry

1kg plain flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp fine salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1¼ tsp (or a 7g sachet) instant yeast

500ml orange juice

For the filling

20g dried mint

¼ tsp mehlepi

¼ tsp mastiha

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

4 eggs


METHOD

For the pastry

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour in the orange juice and olive oil then gently bring the mixture together with your hands until it forms a dough. Leave the pastry to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°c/180°c fan/Gas Mark 6 and make the filling.

For the filling

Grate the halloumi into a bowl. Add the dry ingredients, stirring to coat the halloumi in the herbs and spices, then crack the eggs into the bowl one by one, stirring well each time.

Grease a 30cm round cake tin with olive oil. Divide the pastry into quarters, and roll out one of the pieces into a circular shape that will just overfill the base of the cake tin. Pour over a third of the halloumi filling and level it out. Don’t worry if it doesn’t reach the sides of the tin.

Roll out another piece of pastry to roughly the same size, lay it into the tin, add another third of filling, and then repeat this process once more. Roll out the last piece of pastry and place it on top of the pie to enclose the filling.

Place an upturned glass into the centre of the pie, then use a sharp knife to cut the pie into 12 to 14 equal segments from the glass to the edge of the tin. Using your hands, twist each segment so the bottom layer comes to the top. Don’t worry about the filling spilling out.

Remove the glass and decorate the central circle to your liking. You can use a fork to make tiny dots resembling the centre of a flower, or make leaves out of any leftover dough. Place the pie in the centre of the preheated oven to bake for 40 minutes or until golden.



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