(Traditional Cypriot Tahini Pies)
Tahini pies are made with Sesame pulp and cinnamon. These little pies are a popular street food in Cyprus. My fondest childhood memories of these were our family time on the beach. Street vendors would have large box like cases on their bicycle’s and would cycle along the beach selling them freshly made. You can a now find them in markets, grocery stores and bakeries. My mom has been making these for us since 1976 when we immigrated to Canada. She has shared this recipe with me and I am excited to share it with you. Hope you will enjoy it as much as my family does.
1¼ cup water
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 inch stick cinnamon
½ cup quality honey
1 jar (500ml) Tahini, sesame pulp
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tbsp. instant quick rise dry yeast
¾ canola oil
1 ¼ + 2 tbsp. lukewarm water
To make the syrup, add the water, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon stick in a medium size sauce pot. Cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, about 5 mins. Add the honey and simmer for until slightly thicken, another 5-7 mins. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
To make the dough, in a large glass bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, yeast. Mix all together. Add oil and mix until find crumb like texture. Gradually add the lukewarm water and knead for 10-12 mins until dough is soft and smooth. Place a tea towel over the bowl and let rest for a few minutes.
To make the tahini, add tahini and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375F and line to large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
On a clean working surface, separate the dough into 18 equal round balls. Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand and keep covered with a towel so they stay soft. Use a rolling pin or a manual pasta machine to roll out each piece 8x5 inches long. It is important that the sheets are rolled out very thin so you don’t have a thick texture when baked.
Spread 2 tbsps. of the tahini mixture on top of each rolled out sheet ensure that all area is covered. Roll length wise tightly like a long thin cigar. Take the two ends and swirl so they have a rope like shape. Roll the one end to the other forming a round wheel. Press down on top with your hand to flatten slightly. There will be some tahini mixture that might squeeze out when pressing. This is ok as it will coat a bit of the top and it will taste great.
Place them on the lined baking sheets about an inch apart. Depending on your oven, bake them for about 35 – 45 minutes until golden brown. I needed to bake them for the exact 45 minutes.
Dip them immediately into the syrup while they are nice and hot ensuring they are well drenched on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and repeat with the remaining. Let cool and enjoy.
Once cooled completely, they can be stored in an air tight container for up to 24 hours or you can freeze them. When ready to serve, thaw at room temperature and serve.
SERVINGS 18 pies | PREP & COOK TIME 1.5 hours