Cretan Kalitsounia (Sweet Cheese Pastries)

READY IN: 38mins
Recipe by evelynathens

These delectable cheese pastries are served throughout Crete. The best, in my opinion, are served in sunny villages scattered throughout the White Mountain Range on the drive from Chania to Sfakia. There, they are served with a drizzle of the local thyme honey. In more urban centers, many just sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Either way, they are addictive and delicious.

Top Review by twissis

My DH hovered over me as I took these out of the pan last nite & devoured a whole plate of them. I even made a few of them stuffed w/ground meat just to see if it would work as well - it did btw. I "hid" the rest so I'd have enough for a pic, but he was around asking for more when he saw me taking the pic. The prep took me longer than I expected, but even DH said they were worth the wait. You are so right in your intro - very addictive & delicious! Thx.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 34 cup water
  • 1 lb manouri cheese (ricotta will do in a pinch) or 1 lb fresh mizithra cheese (ricotta will do in a pinch)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 12 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
  • 12 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • olive oil (for frying) or clarified butter (for frying)
  • Garnish

  • greek thyme honey or cinnamon sugar


  1. Prepare a stiff dough with the flour, olive oil, salt and water.
  2. Leave to rest, covered, for an hour.
  3. Crumble cheese.
  4. Mix well with egg, zest, cinnamon and sugar.
  5. Separate dough in two.
  6. Take half of dough and roll out 1/8 inch thick on a lightly-floured surface.
  7. Using a water glass, cut into small rounds 3 inches in diameter.
  8. Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture on each round of dough, moisten edges with a little water, fold over and seal well, pressing the edges together with a fork.
  9. Repeat with remaining dough and cheese filling.
  10. Heat enough olive oil or clarified butter to come up about 3/4 inch of pan.
  11. Fry pastries until golden brown.
  12. Drizzle with honey or sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and serve hot.

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