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Wednesday September 25, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday September 24, 2013 MYT 7:42:02 PM
by lisa abraham
A plate of Greek pastries: paximadia (centre), the white pastry is kourambiethes (top), and there's also (clockwise) kataifi, finikia, koulourakia, diples and baklava. - Photos Akron Beacon Journal/MCT
A primer on eight of the most popular Greek pastries.
THINK Greek pastry is all just nuts and honey?
There’s a lot more to the Greek pastry plate than meets the eye. In fact, there’s really very little honey in it.
Most of the pastry is drenched in a traditional Greek syrup made of water and sugar, flavored with lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves and just a spoon or two of honey.
While the iconic baklava is layers of flaky phyllo (also spelled filo or fillo) dough with nuts and syrup, there are also koulourakia – simple twists of buttery shortbread – and kourambiethes, plain butter cookies dusted in powdered sugar.
Here’s a primer on the eight most popular Greek pastries.
Baklava: The best-known of all Greek pastries, baklava is made by stacking buttered layers of phyllo dough and filling them with a mixture of ground walnuts and spices. Cooled syrup is poured over the tray of pastry warm from the oven.
Diples: Sometimes called thiples or theples, or referred to as honey curls, this pastry is flaky dough that has been fried and rolled into jelly roll or other shapes, drizzled with honey or syrup and sprinkled with chopped nuts.
Finikia: Oval-shaped cookies that are dipped in syrup and topped with chopped nuts.
Galatoboureko: Egg custard made with farina (Cream of Wheat) is baked inside phyllo dough sheets, and topped with syrup warm from the oven. These typically are made into rolls, but also can be made in a sheet pan and cut into squares.
Kataifi: While it may look like a shredded wheat biscuit, this pastry is actually made from a speciality dough of pastry strands. The strands are filled with nuts, baked, and then coated in syrup.
Kourambiethes: A simple butter cookie, sometimes containing ground almonds, which gets a generous coating of confectioner’s sugar before serving.
Koulourakia: This simple twisted butter cookie is made with plenty of eggs, which give the cookie its yellow colour. Not too sweet, it’s the perfect accompaniment to coffee.
Paximadia: The Greek version of biscotti, this cookie is made by par-baking loaves of cookies, then slicing them and baking them again on a cookie sheet until they are toasted. – Akron Beacon Journal/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Recipe: Greek Baklava
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