Thursday, May 9, 2013

Easter Flaounes

Earlier this year, a Greek Australian woman described to me these strange Greek Cypriot Easter pies that she would make with her friend each Easter in Darwin. She described a cheese filling with yeast, mastic and another ingredient I had never heard of: Mahlep.
My partner is Greek Cypriot/Australian and he heard never heard of these pies, so I was intrigued to find out more about them.
And then  Flaounes found me during our weekly vigil of  Thursday night food shows on SBS.  And just in time for Easter, and with enough time to have a friend source the mysterious Mahlepi from Melbourne
This is pretty much the recipe I used: (Cypriot Easter Bread), although I changed the cheeses  (big sigh for Alice Springs) and the percentages, and only made a half batch.  I also found the size of flaounes they suggested was too big for me.  The recipe below is adapted from the SBS one.


 2 packets of haloumi (about 250gms)
250gm good cheddar cheese
1 tsp dried yeast 1/2 cup semolina 1/2 cup flour 4 eggs
 mint, leaves picked and chopped
1 tsp baking powder 1/3 cup sultanas, or to taste

 500gm plain flour 5 g mastic, crushed 
10 g mahlep (a friend bought seeds in Smith Street in Melbourne, and we crushed them)
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast  
70 g soft unsalted butter
 pinch of salt  
2 cups milk

1 bottle of sesame seeds 
  dash of white vinegar 2 egg yolks.

Follow the method on the SBS website, halving amounts for smaller flaounes.