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Author Notes: A delicious, traditional Cypriot pie gets a make over to suit the home baker. A sweet pastry coil of creamy tahini, honey and almonds. Absolutely divine! —Galatia Pamboridis
For the dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried active yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup water at room temperature
For the filling and syrup
- 1 1/4 cups tahini paste
- 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons carob syrup (you can substitute honey)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup almonds, coarsely ground
- For the syrup:
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons water
- Mix flours, yeast, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add water and olive oil and pulse until a soft dough forms. Transfer dough into an oiled bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 1 hour. The dough will inflate and rise.
- Make the filling by mixing everything together in a bowl, except the almonds. If you are using carob honey in the filling then you will notice that the tahini thickens as you add it. If mixture is too thick (as tahini paste density varies depending on brand), then add ¼ tsp baking soda to the mixture. The soda will loosen it slightly making it easier for you to spread on the dough.
- Make the tahini pie: Preheat oven to 175 C (360 F) fan. Take a 23cm (9 inch) cake pan with removable sides. Line the base with greaseproof paper.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle measuring about 35 x 45 cm. Dough will be thin, and this is what you want. Spread the entire surface of the rectangle with the tahini filling. Sprinkle with 5 tablespoons ground almonds.
- Start rolling the dough like a swiss roll starting from the longest side. Use a silicon scraper or a spatula to lift the dough if necessary. Cut roll in the middle to create two roughly equal rolls. Take one roll and roll it with your hands to elongate it, to about 55-60cm. Twist the roll and turn it into a coil. Place coil in the prepared pan.
- Repeat process with the other piece of dough. Elongate, then twist it and place it around the coil in the pan. Cover with a cotton towel and let pie sit for 20 minutes.
- Bake the pie for 35-40 minutes until risen and golden.
- Make the syrup while pie bakes. Dissolve honey in the water. As soon as the pie comes out of the oven, use a pastry brush to brush it’s entire surface with the syrup. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds.
- Cool to room temperature. Remove from the baking tin, transfer to a serving platter, slice and serve.