Greek Honey Pie or Melopita

Greek Honey Pie or Melopita

The Spruce / Lynn Livanos Athan

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
672 Calories
34g Fat
74g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 672
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 44%
Saturated Fat 19g 95%
Cholesterol 203mg 68%
Sodium 485mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 74g 27%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 39g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 54mg 268%
Calcium 458mg 35%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 297mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Part custard, part cheesecake, a Honey Pie or Melopita (meh-LOH-peeta) is so versatile that you will find yourself trying it many ways. You can make it like a pie with a bottom and/or top crust. You can also try it as a tart. Or you can make it without a crust entirely as it is enjoyed on the island of Sifnos in Greece. Either way, it is sure to please.

Traditionally this is made with soft Myzithra (mee-ZEE-thra) cheese, but if that is not readily available, use ricotta cheese as a great substitute.

You can substitute the crust with a prepared pie shell.

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon brandy, or cognac

  • 2 tablespoons ice water

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

For the Filling:

  • 1 pound myzitrha cheese, soft, or ricotta cheese

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1 lemon, zest grated

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • Cinnamon, for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon honey, for garnish

Steps to Make It

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

To Make Crust in Food Processor

  1. Add flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl. Pulse a few times to mix.

  2. Add chilled butter pieces and process until crumbly, like wet sand.

  3. Add egg yolk, vanilla, brandy, and 1 tbsp. ice water.

  4. Process until dough pulls together and forms a ball away from the sides.

  5. Add an additional tbsp. of water if it seems too dry.

  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten dough into a round disk.

  7. Chill dough while you prepare the filling.

To Make the Crust by Hand

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, and salt. Mix to combine.

  2. Add the butter pieces and using two forks or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour. (You can also use your hands for this.) The mixture should resemble coarse sand when the butter is incorporated fully.

  3. Add egg yolk, vanilla, brandy, and water and mix to incorporate, kneading dough into a smooth ball.

  4. Flatten into a round disk and chill while mixing the filling.

Make the Filling

  1. In a medium-sized bowl add Myzithra or ricotta cheese, eggs, honey, lemon zest, flour, and sugar. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

  2. Using a rolling pin, roll out your dough to the approximate size of your baking pan. I use a 10-inch tart circle with a removable bottom. You can substitute a spring form pan, a round cake pan, or even a pie dish.

  3. Lightly grease the pan's bottom and sides. Your dough 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 onto your rolling pin and then unroll it over the pan.

  4. Press the dough into the sides and bottom of the pan.

  5. Add filling and bake in a preheated 350 F oven until the filling sets (no 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.

Serve on a plate drizzled with honey and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

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