If you’re looking for the ultimate Greek sweet, look no further than portokalopita. This crispy, syrupy, custardy concoction makes perfect use of Greece’s famed yoghurt, which is strained to remove the whey to create a thicker, creamier result. Believed to hail from Crete, this rich pie makes use of the island’s orange bounty, resulting in a refreshingly zesty dessert that’s delicious served warm in winter or chilled with ice-cream in summer.
- 350 g filo pastry
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 420 g (1½ cups) Greek-style yoghurt
- 185 ml (¾ cup) olive oil, plus extra, to grease
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 125 ml (½ cup) orange juice
- 125 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 3 oranges
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 440 g (2 cups) caster sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 3 hours 10 minutes
You will need a 20 cm x 25 cm x 5 cm ovenproof dish for this recipe.
Grease a 20 cm x 25 cm x 5 cm ovenproof dish with oil. Working with one sheet of filo at a time, scrunch into loose balls and pack into dish. Stand dish at room temperature for 3 hours to allow filo to dry out a little.
Meanwhile, to make orange syrup, cut rind from oranges in wide strips, then remove as much white pith as possible. Thinly slice rind into matchsticks. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, add rind, boil for 2 minutes, then drain. Rinse under cold water, then drain again.
Juice peeled oranges and measure the juice; you should have about 250 ml (1 cup). Add enough water to make 500 ml (2 cups). Combine juice with cinnamon and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add orange rind, then reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes or until mixture is slightly reduced and thickened. Set aside.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180ºC. Combine eggs, yoghurt, oil, orange zest, juice and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add baking powder and whisk to combine. Carefully pour mixture over filo, allowing it to run between the layers. Stand for 10 minutes, then bake for 50 minutes or until deep golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the pie comes out clean.
Pierce pie all over with a skewer, then pour over orange syrup. Cut into large squares and serve warm or at room temperature. Pie will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Photography Brett Stevens. Food preparation Leanne Kitchen. Styling Vivien Walsh.
As seen in Feast magazine, November 2014, Issue 37.