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Zarko (milk pie)

Traditional filo-less milk pie.
Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-Zarko (milk pie)
Before cooking...

In the local Greek dialect, “zarkos” means “naked.” That’s why Epirotes call some of the numerous filo-less (thus, naked) pies of their traditional cuisine “zarko” or “zarkopita.” Such is this incredibly hearty and flavorsome milk-based dessert.

Zarko (milk pie)

Ingredients

Zarko owes its rich flavor and aroma to the use of high-quality sheep milk and butter. You can still make it with cow milk, but if you long for an authentic taste, you must use authentic ingredients.

  • 3 kg sheep milk (or blended sheep and goat milk)
  • 250 gr sugar
  • 380 gr corn flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 200 gr sheep butter
  • Water (as needed)
  • Salt (to preference)

Execution

  1. In a large bowl, mix the milk, the corn flour, the eggs, the butter, the sugar, the salt, and the water until you have a thick batter.
  2. Set the oven to “upper and lower heat” and preheat it to 180 °C.
  3. Brush a baking pan with butter and spread the batter evenly.
  4. Place the pan on the lower rack and bake for 25 minutes (approximately) until the top is golden brown.
  5. Let the zarko cool for a bit and serve.

This traditional “naked” milk pie is a pretty simple (just mix and bake) and especially delicious pastry, an ideal dish for a wholesome breakfast or a savory dessert.

After cooking...

If you follow the various hiking paths across the highlands of Epirus, you’ll bump into many of the famous centuries-old arch bridges that provided locals with safe passage over the river rapids. They were built by groups of masons and builders from the villages known as “Mastorohoria” (Villages of Masters). These self-taught traveling craftsmen had even developed their own dialect to safeguard the secrets of their trade.

Ηπειρώτικο Πρωινό-After cooking...