Delicious handmade crispy pies with sweet, creamy filling!
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Mizithropitakia are Greek sweet cheese pies made with handmade dough and sweetened ricotta cheese filling. They are so decadent and delicious that your guests will always be impressed. You can make them ahead for any get-together since they’re best served at room temperature. I think they’re between a cannoli and Tulumbakia, the Greek churros I posted. The dough absorbs the syrup but is still light and airy. The filling is so creamy and really does taste like cannoli filling. You don’t need any fancy equipment, and they are much easier to make than you think!
Why your guests will ask for these
- Crispy fried handmade dough
- Smooth and sweet ricotta filling
- Sweet vanilla syrup glaze
- Warm spiced cinnamon sugar dust
- A decadent, crispy, handmade pie with creamy cannoli-flavored filling!!
Everything you need
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Confectioner’s sugar for garnish
Handmade Pastry Dough:
- All-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil –light olive or vegetable oil
- Orange juice –fresh or your favorite brand
- Baking powder
- Whole milk ricotta cheese –drained for up to two days or use Mizithra
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Egg –helps the filling become custard-like
- Ground cinnamon
- All-purpose flour –helps to keep the filling thick
- Pure vanilla extract –no more than the recipe calls for to keep the filling as dry as possible
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract –good quality for the best flavor
- Honey –Greek honey is best, but use what you have
You can be as basic or fancy as you want to make these pies. All you need to make the pie dough is a bowl with a whisk. However, I have a stand mixer with a dough hook, so I use it sometimes. My mixer has a pasta roller attachment. So, if I already have the mixer out, I use the pasta roller to roll out large stripes of dough. If not, I just use a rolling pin to roll the dough into the largest circle possible –about 1/16 inch thick. Then, I use a 4-inch cookie cutter to cut the rounds for my mini pies. If you don’t have that, use a 4-inch saucer and cut the dough away with a knife to cut out the rounds.
How to make Mizithropitakia Greek Sweet Cheese Pies
Prepare the ricotta
- Place the ricotta cheese in a strainer over a bowl and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. The liquids will drain to create a thicker ricotta cheese.
Make the Dough:
- Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a tabletop mixer with the dough hook attachment, add the remaining ingredients and whisk them together.
- Add the flour mixture and knead on low speed until a smooth dough is formed. If the dough is dry and crumbly, add a little more water until it all comes together.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel.
- Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Make the Syrup:
- Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, take the pan off the heat and add the vanilla and honey.
- Stir together and set aside to cool completely.
Make the Filling:
- Combine all of the filling ingredients and beat until smooth.
Assemble the Pies:
- Divide the dough into four equal portions.
- Flatten each portion into a rectangle and pass it through a pasta roller until it is about 1/16 of an inch in thickness.
- Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut the strip of dough into rounds.
- Gather all of the leftover scraps of dough and knead them together.
- Then, pass them through the pasta roller, or roll the dough out to 1/16 inch thick and cut into rounds.
- Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling on one side of the rounds and brush the edges with a bit of water.
- Fold them over and seal the edges using a fork.
- Heat some vegetable oil in a pan (350 °F-360 °F).
- Place 4-5 pies in the oil and fry them on both sides until golden all around –about 3-4 minutes total.
- Carefully lift the fried pies out of the oil using a spider strainer and dip them in the syrup for 30 seconds.
- Transfer the pies onto a serving plate and dust with confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon.
Prefer not to fry?
Hands down, these pies are best fried. However, if you prefer not to fry them, you can bake them in the oven or cook them in the air fryer. To bake, put them on a sheet tray in a 350 oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. They’ll be too soft for the syrup, so skip it and simply dust with cinnamon and sugar. To air fry, place them in the air fryer and fry them at 350 for 5 minutes. They cook super fast, and you’ll skip the syrup with this method as well. So, just dust with cinnamon and sugar.
There are a couple of shortcuts if you don’t want to make your own pie dough. The first is puff pastry. If you use it, bake your pies at 350 for 30-35 minutes, then skip the syrup and go straight to the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Puff pastry doesn’t fry well but makes for delicious little pies. The other option is phyllo dough. You can wrap your pies into little triangles with the phyllo and fry or bake them. Either way, dunk them in your syrup and toss them in powdered sugar and cinnamon.
Make ahead Freezer Instructions
Yes! These can be made ahead, and you can have them available anytime. Assemble the pies and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Then, place the pies in the freezer until solid and transfer them to freezer-safe bags. They will keep fresh in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to eat them, thaw the pies and fry them.
These pies are best served at room temperature, so the cheese has time to set and stay in the pie as you eat it. They are sweet enough after you dip them in the syrup, so don’t feel like you have to add the cinnamon and sugar. However, adding it in Greece is traditional, which makes it a little extra. I arrange them on a beautiful platter and serve them with hot Greek coffee. They are truly beautiful and delicious. Kali Orexi!
- vegetable oil for frying
- confectioner's sugar for garnish
For the Pastry Dough:
- 4 cups (570g) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg
For the Filling:
- 2 pounds (900g) whole milk ricotta cheese, drained
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Syrup:
- 1 and 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup honey
Place the ricotta cheese in a strainer over a bowl and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. The liquids will drain to create a thicker ricotta cheese.
Make the Dough: Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of a tabletop mixer that has been fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the remaining ingredient and whisk them together. Add the flour mixture and knead on low speed until a smooth dough is formed. If the mixture is dry and crumbly, add more water until it all comes together. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Make the Syrup: Combine the sugar and water ina. saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved take the pan off of the heat and add the vanilla and honey. Mix together and set aside to cool completely.
Make the Filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients together and beat until smooth.
Assemble the Pies:
Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Flatten each portion into a rectangle and pass it through a pasta roller until it is about 1/16 of an inch in thickness.
Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut the strip of dough into rounds. Gather all of the leftover scraps of dough and knead them together. Pass them through the pasta roller and cut out into rounds.
Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling on one side of the rounds and brush the edges with a little bit of water. Fold them over and seal the edges using a fork.
Heat some vegetable oil in a pan (350 °F-360 °F). Place 4-5 pies in the oil and fry them until golden all around. 3-4 minutes total. Carefully lift the fried pies out of the oil using a spider strainer and dip them in the syrup for 30 sconds. Transfer teh pies onto a serving plate and dust with confectioner's sugar and cinnamon.
Serve with coffee. Kali Orexi!
Make ahead Freezer Instructions: Assemble the pies and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the pie in the freezer until solid and transfer to freezer-safe bags. They will keep fresh in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw the pies and fry.
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