Definitely one of the most delicious, traditional Cypriot recipes. Tahini pie is probably one of the most grossing items in any bakery store in Cyprus. It’s a sweet pastry coil filled with creamy tahini and cinnamon. I absolutely love it, so creating a simpler version for the home baker was something I really wanted to create.
Of course, there is a limit to how simple you can go when creating a tahini pie. Part of it’s beauty is the way tahini blends with the pastry and sometimes even oozes out and caramelizes in the oven. So there is always some rolling involved. But baking a single larger pie instead of many smaller ones, will make your life (and this pie) a lot less complicated.
I added lots of crushed almonds which I absolutely love with tahini. I baked it in a 23 cm round cake pan, but you can experiment with a 20 cm pan and achieve a taller pie. Whatever you do, you will love this recipe, just as I love it too. For me it’s the proper way to welcome autumn. And the official ending to bikini season. So, let’s bake.
For the dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup wholemeal flour
- 2 Tbs sugar
- 1 tsp dried active yeast
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¾ cup water
For the filling
- 1 1/4 cups tahini paste
- ½ cup soft brown sugar
- 2 Tbs honey
- 2 Tbs carob honey (you can substitute 1½ Tbs honey)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup coarsely ground almonds
For the syrup
- 3 Tbs honey
- 3 Tbs water
Make the dough: Mix flours, yeast, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add water and olive oil and pulse until a soft dough forms. Transfer dough into an oiled bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 1 hour. The dough will inflate and rise.
Make the filling by mixing everything together in a bowl, except the almonds. If you are using carob honey in the filling then you will notice that the tahini thickens as you add it. If mixture is too thick (as tahini paste density varies depending on brand), then add ¼ tsp baking soda to the mixture. The soda will loosen it slightly making it easier for you to spread on the dough.
Make the tahini pie: Take a 23cm (9 inch) cake pan with removable sides. Line the base with greaseproof paper.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle measuring about a 40 x 50 cm. Dough will be thin, and this is what you want. Spread the entire surface of the rectangle with the tahini filling. Sprinkle with 5 tablespoons ground almonds.
Start rolling the dough like a swiss roll starting from the longest side. Use a silicon scraper or a spatula to lift the dough if necessary. Cut roll in the middle to create two roughly equal rolls.
Take one roll and roll it with your hands to elongate it, to about 60-65cm. Twist the roll and turn it into a coil. Place coil in the prepared pan.
Repeat process with the other piece of dough. Elongate, then twist it and place it around the coil in the pan (see pics). Cover with a cotton towel and let pie sit for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 175 C (360 F).
Bake the pie for 35-40 minutes until risen and golden.
Make the syrup while pie bakes. Dissolve honey in the water. As soon as the pie comes out of the oven, use a pastry brush to brush it’s entire surface with the syrup. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds.
Cool to room temperature. Remove from the baking tin, transfer to a serving platter, slice and serve.