Sfakianes Pites - Pie from Sfakia

Sfakianes Pites - Pie from Sfakia
Excellent Pies that on their surface flow abundant honey. We need local, fresh, Cretan products to create these traditional thin pan pies, that are always quirky and delicious.
Flour, raki, cheese and honey are the main ingredients. Made easily, observing some parameters, which are in the windows of tips at the end. And of course, not to forget, the cretan raki is their accompaniment, the sine qua non of their enjoyment.

wokr: 1h:00′ time: 1h:00′ easy:

Sfakianes Pites - Pie from Sfakia Sfakianes Pites - Pie from Sfakia


Sfakia (Greek: Σφακιά) is a mountainous area in the southwestern part of the island of Crete, in the Chania regional unit. It is considered to be one of the few places in Greece that have never been fully occupied by foreign powers. With a 2011 census population of 1,889 inhabitants living on a land area of 467,58 km², Sfakia is one of the largest and least densely populated municipalities on the island of Crete. The etymology of its name is disputed. According to the prevailing theory, it relates to its rugged terrain, deriving from the ancient Greek word σφαξ, meaning land chasm or gorge.

The road from Chania to Sfakiá crosses the island from north to south, through the village of Vryses. From this village the route crosses the White Mountains (Lefká Óri) to Hóra Sfakíon by the Libyan Sea. Halfway from Vrisses to Hóra Sfakíon is the fertile plateau of Askifou, surrounded by high mountain peaks. From here to Hóra Sfakíon the road is particularly spectacular. The road hugs the western slope of the Imbros Gorge with breathtaking views. Another scenic route is that leading from Kapsodasos to the plateau of Kallikratis, northeast of Hóra Sfakíon.

There are many beaches in Sfakiá which do not see the numbers of tourists of the northern coast. More adventurous visitors can follow the European hiking footpath E4 which crosses Crete through Sfakiá's mountains. The coastal villages are not connected by a coastal road, but can be reached by ferry boats.

Ingredients (∼15 pies)

  • 300g (10.6 oz) flour
  • 300g (10.6 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shot raki or lemon juice
  • 140g (4.9 oz) warm water
  • salt
  • oil for frying
  • honey & roasted pine nuts
Crush well the ricotta cheese and season with ½ teaspoon salt.
In a bowl add the flour, ½ teaspoon salt, oil and raki. Pour gradually the lukewarm water and begin to knead the mixture.
Knead thoroughly a wet dough, soft, elastic, which will not stick to hands. Approximately for 10'. Cover it with a towel until you prepare the crumbled ricotta.
Take in your hand a spoon from the ricotta and form with it a ball. You place them on a silicone surface or release paper. Make 10 balls.
Take pieces of dough in ⅔ larger than the balls of ricotta cheese. Share it in 0 equal balls.
Press each ball with your hand or with a rolling pin to create a flattened disc as saucer of Greek coffee. Within each dough disc place a little ball cream cheese.
Enclose the ricotta, by covering it with the dough, as a closed pouch. Place the ball on the desktop (non stick) with the compound down.
By hand press each ball slightly to widen. With a rolling pin and with very gentle strokes form a round tray ∼18cm (7.1 in).
Roll out the pie as thin as possible, gradually and carefully to enable the elastic dough to spread without the cheese being pushed out.
When you are done with all the pies, put a little oil in a nonstick pan and wipe it with a paper towel, spreading it around the pan and fry one by one or two by two the pies of sfakia.
Let them browned on one side and the turn and on the other for 2'-3'. Served and eaten warm topped with a lot of honey and roasted pine nuts.
Sfakianes Pites - Pie from Sfakia Sfakianes Pites - Pie from Sfakia Sfakianes Pites - Pie from Sfakia Sfakianes Pites - Pie from Sfakia
It is in your own choice whether you want to fry them in more olive oil. This way they surely become tastier.
Before frying can be stored in the freezer separated from each other with greaseproof paper. You can retaine them for 2 months.
The ricotta as fresh product and not dry contains high moisture content, ranging from 58-75%. For sfakia pies it should be well drained from the water in order not to pierce the foil during frying. To remove it, then, wrap it in paper towels and rest it on a stack of newspapers 1-2 hours ago.

Author Zambia G. Sifaki