Metsovo

Raisin pie (syrupy pastry)

Traditional Metsovite sweet pie with crunchy and syrupy filo pastry.
Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-Raisin pie (syrupy pastry)
Before cooking...

In the Metsovo region, wine growing was already widespread from the 18th century, and local wines often reached far-away markets. Despite that tradition, by the early 20th century, the only wine the Metsovites produced was for home use. History changed with the return of Evangelos Averoff to the land of his forefathers. He revived the deserted mountainous vineyards, added new varieties to the local ones, and put Metsovo on the global winemaking map.

Raisin pie (syrupy pastry)

Ingredients

Besides making excellent wine, Metsovites made the most of their vineyards by making fine grape syrup and raisins, a great energy source during winter. For making this Metsovite pie, you don’t need local raisins. As long as they are top quality, black and golden.

For the traditional filo:

  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 200 g water, lukewarm
  • 50 g olive oil
  • 15 g salt
  • 10 g vinegar

For the filling:

  • 150 g black raisins
  • 150 g golden raisins
  • 100 g cognac
  • 400 g sugar
  • 200 g Carolina rice
  • 200 g walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • Sesame seeds (to preference)

For the syrup:

  • 500 g sugar
  • ½ l water
  • Zest and juice from ½ lemon

Note: For a more authentic traditional filo dough, you can use hard flour, albeit you might have to sift it first. Alternatively, you can use ready-made traditional Greek filo sheets.

Execution

  1. Soak the raisins in cognac for 1 day.
  2. In a large bowl, gently stir the ingredients for the traditional filo dough except for the water (flour, salt, olive oil, and vinegar). Add the water slowly while mixing with a spoon. When the liquids are absorbed, knead the mixture until the dough is smooth and non-sticky. Roll it into a ball, cover it with a towel, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  3. When the dough is ready, divide it into 7 even balls and roll them into 7 thin sheets with the rolling pin.
  4. Place a saucepan on medium heat and mix the ingredients for the syrup beside the lemon juice (water, sugar, lemon zest) until the sugar melts. Bring the mix to a boil and cook for 7-8 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, and stir well. Leave the syrup aside to cool.
  5. In a pot, boil the rice in salted water. When it’s ready, strain it, and let it cool.
  6. In a large bowl, add the rice, the raisins, the walnuts, the sugar, the cinnamon, and the clove and stir thoroughly.
  7. Set the oven to “upper and lower heat” and preheat to 170 °C.
  8. Brush a baking pan with butter, lay a filo sheet, and spread some of the filling evenly. Repeat the lay-and-fill process with the remaining filo sheets and filling. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  9. Place the pan on the lower rack and bake for 40-50 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  10. Pour the cold syrup over the pie, wait for it to absorb, and serve.

This delicious Metsovite syrupy pastry is an excellent dessert for any meal. At the same time, it has a festive look and taste, which makes it ideal for special occasions.

After cooking...

In Greece’s highest vineyards, Yiniets (at 1000 m), the proud descendants of Evangelos Averoff continue his inspiring work, making excellent wines. In their words, growing grapes for winemaking with traditional methods on sloping ground is extremely hard and demanding. On top of that, in the summer, their vineyards get regular visits from bears and their cubs, who love to feast upon the juicy fruit of the region’s exceptional varieties.

Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-After cooking...