soft cheese & cinnamon pastries - pourekia
These sweet pastries are made with a soft cheese made in Cyprus and it is called Anari. There is salted and unsalted Anari. For this recipe the unsalted cheese is used. You can compare the cheese with the Myzithra cheese from Greece. Of course they can be prepared with any kind unsalted soft cheese like Cottage and Ricotta, add a few drops of lemon so it get slightly more sour. The cheese is mixed with cinnamon and sugar and wrapped in dough and then fried. They are irresistible, freshly fried and still warm served with icing sugar on top!
500 gr Anari
4 - 5 table spoons sugar
85 gr farina flour 00
500 gr village flour
60 gr olive oil
water as much as needed
Add both flours, salt in a large mixer bowl and add the oil.
Rub the oil through the flour real well so that the oil is evenly distributed. In earlier days when kneading was done by hand this stage was the most important. Nowadays with strong machines with heavy dough-hooks the oil is distributed while mixing, so just rub the oil in using a whisk.
Add the water and mix for 5 to 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth, soft and elastic.
Wrap the dough in cling-film and let it rest for at least one hour. The longer it rests the better the dough will be, more elastic and more manageable.
In the meantime crumble the Anari with a fork and add the sugar and cinnamon, mix well. If the Anari is on room-temperature it will be easier.
Cover and set aside. Place in fridge if made far in advance.
Once the dough has rested, cut a small piece and cover it with flour.
Place the piece on a in flour covered worktop. With the help of a rolling pin, roll out the dough real thin, so thin that the worktop can be seen through it. Keep the worktop covered with a little flour otherwise it will be difficult to lift the dough of the worktop.
With a glass bowl or water-glass cut out circles. (or a large cookie cutter, mind you that whatever you use the edge should be thin).
Lift the rolled-out dough carefully in order to separate the circles.
Place a small heap of Anari mixture on each circle.
Fold half of the circle over the mixture.
Press the edges with a fork.
Place all pastries on a large dish covered with some flour or a sheet of baking paper. At this stage the pastries can be frozen, just cover them well with cling-film and place the dish in the freezer, the next day when frozen they can be stored in freezer bags of freezer boxes.
Fry the pastries in hot oil until golden and turn them a few times. Drain on kitchen-paper in a colander. Serve them on a pretty dish and sprinkle with plenty of icing sugar.
When fried from frozen the oil should be slightly less hot in order for the mixture to defrost and heat through.
Enjoy - Καλή όρεξη!