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Classic Cretan recipes: Kalitsounia

KALITSOUNIA  Dough for kalitsounia and piesKalitsounia

(for 20-30 kalitsounia or one pie)


1 kg flour for all uses
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. oil
water (enough so that the dough does not stick in your hands when kneading it)
½ water glass tsikoudia


Mix all the ingredients well, knead the dough with your hands and let it rise for 1-2 hours.
Kalitsounia: Roll out the pastry using a rolling pin. Make a big pastry sheet, ½ cm thick and cut it in the shape of a tea saucer.
Pies: Roll out a thicker pastry sheet and use it without cutting it.

Kalitsounia with spinach or fennel or wild local greens  

(about 20-30 pieces)


2 kg spinach or the other greens
1/4 water glass oil
salt, pepper, mint
1 onion, finely chopped


Remove the roots from the spinach, wash it well and cut it in to small pieces. Saute it in an empty casserole for 5 minutes, squeeze with your hands and put it in a bowl. Add the onion, salt, pepper, mint, oil and mix them together. Using a rolling-pin roll out a pastry sheet, the size of a soup plate. Fill each pastry sheet with a tbsp. of the mixture, fold and close it well and then fry them in very hot oil on both sides. You can also bake them in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 180? C after having basted them with a beaten egg and sprinkled with sesame.

Kallitsounia from Sitia


For the dough:

3 kg flour
3 glasses of cretan olive oil
4 eggs
3 glasses of sugar
6 tbsp. yeast
1 ½ glass of water

For the filling:

2 kg of mizithra cheese or any other soft cheese (grated)
1 kg sugar
1 tbsp. honey


Make a solution of the yeast and the water (tepid), add a small amount of flour, just to make it like a pap, and then let it rise. Add the other ingredients except  the eggs and let it rise. The third time, stir in the beaten eggs. Knead all the ingredients together and let the dough rise. For the filling mix all the ingredients together until they become like a cream.
In order to make the kalitsounia, roll out the dough into a 1/2 cm thick pastry sheet and cut it in the shape of a tea saucer. Fill each pastry sheet with a tbsp. of the filling in the middle and fold it as to shape a rectangle. Leave them in a warm place to rise (for about 2 hours), baste them with a beaten egg, sprinkle with sesame and put them into the oven.