The winner is the filling! Savoury Mizithra cheese is soft and spreadable, much like cream cheese, but with a pleasantly sour note. You can use it as fresh cheese, spread it on a fresh slice of bread, or crumble on top of a simple tomato salad. Find it in speciality stores.
Cheese pasties with Xynomizíthra
Makes 16-20 mini pasties or 4 larger pasties.
For the dough:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
A pinch of salt
For the filling:
½ cup savoury Mizithra (Greek whey cheese)
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
A bunch of dried mint
1 egg yolk for brushing
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for décor
1. Start with the short crust pastry dough. Use a large mixing bowl to sieve the flour in, add a pinch of salt and throw in the cubes of butter. Roughly mix with the tips of your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. You will need a splash or two of water to bring it together.
2. After a few minutes, transfer it on your kitchen worktop and knead gently into a firm dough. Once happy with the consistency, wrap on cling film and rest in the fridge.
3. Rest it for 30 minutes, Meanwhile you can make the filling.
4. In a small bowl, mix the cheese, yogurt and herbs. Combine the ingredients, add in the egg and mix it a bit more. You can add a bit of pepper but as the mizithra is quite savoury, you won’t need salt much like when you use feta cheese. Once the filling is ready, leave aside to roll out the shortcrust pastry
5. Sprinkle a bit of flour on a clean surface. Cut half the dough, warm it a bit in your hands if too cold and then flatten it with the ball of your hand. Let the rolling pin rotate as you push it and turn it around as well. It shouldn’t be much thinner than 1-2 mm or it will break when folded.
6. Cut into 2 inch discs (you can use any glass to do this) and add a teaspoon of filling right in the middle. Lift one side to the top to cover the filling and press down with a fork to close the pastry into small halfmoons. You can also make four larger rectangular pieces instead of the smaller bites.
8. Transfer on a baking tray, brush with some egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds.
9. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.
Recipe submitted by @eatyourselfgreek with edits by PlanetBox