Mykonian Melopita (Honey Pie)
This creamy cheese cake tastes of honey and cinnamon and you'll find yourself trying it many times!
For the Filling:
650 grams (1½ lb.) soft Myzithra or Ricotta cheese
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teacup honey
1/2 teacup sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 teacup milk
3 tbsp. semolina
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of one lemon, grated
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 teacup honey and sesame seeds for topping
For the crust:
2½ teacups flour for all purpose
1 tsp. salt
1/2 teacup olive oil
5-6 tbsp. warm water (or as much as it takes)
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees / 200°C.
To make the crust by hand: Place all ingredients for the phyllo dough in a large mixing bowl except for the water which should be poured gradually depending on how much is needed. Mix to incorporate, kneading dough into a smooth ball. Wrap it in a transparent food wrap and let it rest in a cool place for about 30'.
Make the Filling: To a medium sized bowl add Myzithra or Ricotta cheese, eggs, honey, lemon zest, flour, and sugar. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.
Using a rolling pin, roll out your dough to the approximate size of your baking pan. You can use a spring form pan, a round cake pan, or even a pie dish.
Lightly grease the pan's bottom and sides. Flatten your dough in to a round disk. It should be large enough to push up the sides of your pan. The easiest way to transfer the dough from the counter to the pan is to roll it back on to your rolling pin and then unroll it over the pan.
Press the dough in to the sides and bottom of the pan and add filling. Warm a little more honey (about 1/2 teacup) and drizzle on the top of the pie and sprinkle with sesame seeds all over the tart. Bake in a preheated 350F degree (200°C) oven until the filling sets (it won't jiggle in the center) and it begins to turn a golden brown color. Baking times will vary according to the size you choose to make. For a 10-inch tart, it should take around 40 minutes. A deeper, 9-inch pie plate could take up to 50 minutes. Be sure to monitor your pie after 35 minutes of baking time.
* You can also substitute a prepared pie shell.
* For the authentic Mykonian honey pie we use tyrovolia cheese, which is a fresh unsalted Mykonian cheese.
Traditionally this is made with soft Myzithra cheese, but if that is not readily available, use Ricotta cheese as a great substitute.
* Before you serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar and some cinnamon, if you wish.