Have you ever tried Portokalopita, also known as Greek Orange Pie? If you’ve visited Greece, you’ve likely tasted this irresistible dessert. If not, you’ve missed out on something truly delicious. The name “Portokalopita” means “Orange Pie” in English, highlighting the special ingredient that gives this treat its unique flavor – oranges! Usually, it’s served with a scoop of ice cream, but I prefer to enjoy it plain.
How to make Portokalopita – Greek Orange Pie
Preparing the Phyllo Dough
Let’s start making the delicious Portokalopita – Greek orange pie by preparing the phyllo dough. Some recipes suggest tearing the phyllo into pieces without baking it first. However, baking the phyllo dough slightly before using it is my preferred method. This makes it dry and crispy, resulting in a much better taste and texture.
Here’s how to do it:
- Bunch up the phyllo, one sheet at a time, accordion-style, and add it to two baking trays.
- Preheat the oven to 100°C (210°F) and dehydrate the filo for about 30-45 minutes until it’s dried out. You may need to turn them so they dry evenly. Once done, take it out and set it aside to cool for a few minutes.
Begin preparing the syrup while the phyllo dough is in the oven.
- Wash and peel 2 oranges, cutting the peels into thin strips.
- In a small saucepan, add the orange peel, brown sugar, granulated sugar, orange juice, water, and cinnamon stick. Let it boil on medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Allow it to cool before placing it in the refrigerator to chill completely.
- Once the syrup is cold, add 3 tbsp of Grand Marnier or triple sec if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
- Remove about a tablespoon of orange peels from the syrup and chop them finely. Leave the remaining peels in the syrup.
- Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until they become white and fluffy.
- Add the chopped orange peels, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Mix until well combined.
- Then add the vegetable oil and mix again until combined.
- In a small bowl, mix 50 ml (1.7 fl.oz) of orange juice with 1 tsp of baking soda. As soon as it starts to bubble, pour it into the batter and mix until combined.
- Finally, crush the dried phyllo dough into small pieces and add it to the batter a little at a time until all the phyllo is covered.
- Grease a 25×25 cm pan and pour the batter into it, flattening it slightly to make it even.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes at 180°C (360°F) until golden.
- Once the cake is out of the oven, use a skewer to poke some holes in the middle. Then, pour the cold syrup over it right away. Allow the Portokalopita – Greek orange pie to absorb the syrup for at least an hour before serving.
For the best results, ensure the syrup is completely cold before pouring it over the hot cake. Alternatively, you can let the cake cool down and pour warm syrup over it. Both methods will ensure the syrup gets fully absorbed
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