Even though I come from a family of cooks, my mum never baked “flaounes” for Easter. We did all the other stuff, like paint eggs, cook the lamb but we always bought “flaounes” from our local bakery store, or they were given to us as a gift from friends and family.

I learned to make flaounes at a much later stage in life from my very good friend and cook Chryso Lefou, who told me off for using gruyere cheese and cheddar cheese in the filling. I learned well! And I am proud for my “flaounes” especially this lighter version with “anari” cheese.

“Anari” is the Cypriot version of Ricotta, slightly less creamy and a tiny bit salty. A “flaouna” is traditionally made with a specific sweet cheese. If you are not in Cyprus, and want to make “flaounes’, a combination of cheddar, gruyere and haloumi would be ok substitutes.

This version of “flaouna” is lighter because of the “anari” cheese. I used both dry and fresh anari plus haloumi of course for that delicious saltiness. I am particularly proud of the pastry. I have been told off many times for using orange juice in the dough but I got over it! This is a delicious, buttery and aromatic pastry.

To shape the “flaouna”, I roll my dough into a 20 cm round. I then press the dough onto a plate filled with sesame seeds.

I roll the dough again slightly to reach the original size, since the dough shrinks when dipped in sesame. This also helps the sesame seeds stick on the dough. Then I shape the filling into a ball and place it in the centre, while pressing slightly with my hands to flatten it a bit.

First I fold one side, then the other, leaving a small opening on top of the “flaouna”. Some people make their “flaouna” more open on top and leave a wider opening. I like to cover mine mostly with pastry, maybe because I like the pastry so much, but also, because I don’t want the “anari” to burn.

Finally, I brush a tiny, little bit of egg on the left and right sides (this helps the pastry stick) and fold them up. With my index finger, I press the edges to create a small triangle. Before baking I brush them with beaten egg.

I make my “flaouna” big enough for one or two persons. Some people like a bigger size, but I find this to be the perfect size for a full delicious breakfast.

“Flaounes” – Cypriot Easter Pies with “anari” Cheese

Galatia Pamboridis
Even if you never made "flaounes" before, this recipe is fool-proof and easy. It is lighter than traditional "flaouna" since it contains "anari (cypriot ricotta). The dough needs no proofing and is easily done in a mixer or even food-processor. In 2 hours you can have hot "flaouna" on the table!
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Breads, dough, Pastry, Vegetarian
Cuisine Cypriot
Servings 8 Flaounes



    For the Filling (Foukos):

    • 500 grams fresh "anari" cheese slightly salted or sub ricotta (see note)
    • 200 grams haloumi, grated
    • 100 grams dry anari or sub pecorino cheese grated
    • 1/3 cup mint leaves chopped
    • 175 grams raisins
    • ½ tsp mastic seeds
    • ½ tsp mahleb seeds
    • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
    • 60 grams bread flour
    • 60 grams fine semolina,
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • 4 large eggs plus 1 for brushing
    • 2 cups (approx.) sesame seeds

    For the Dough:

    • 500 grams bread flour
    • 100 grams fine semolina
    • 12 grams (2 tsp) baking powder,
    • 30 grams granulated sugar
    • ½ tsp mastic tears
    • ½ tsp mahleb seeds
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 180 grams fresh orange juice
    • 100 grams water
    • 125 grams unslated butter, melted
    • 40 grams olive oil


    Prepare the filling:

    • Crush the mastic and mahleb with a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder.
    • Smash the fresh anari with your hands or with a fork in a large bowl. Add the grated haloumi and grated dry anari cheese. Mix to combine. Add the flour, semolina, mastic and mahleb, baking powder, sugar, raisins and mix. Add the eggs and knead well. Set aside until the dough is ready.

    Prepare the dough:

    • In a bowl, add the flour, semolina, salt, crushed mahleb and mastic, baking powder and sugar. Mix well and add the olive oil, melted butter, orange juice and water. Knead with the dough hook in a mixer until you have a soft dough. You can also use a food processor or knead by hand.

    Assemble the "flaounes":

    • Take 160 grams of the filling and make tight round balls (you will create 8 balls). Take 137 grams of dough (keep the rest covered so it doesn't dry out), knead it and roll it out with a rolling pin into a round the size of a dessert plate (about 20 cm). Pressing down the pastry on a plate full of sesame seeds, so that it sticks to the underside. Transfer the pastry on a work top and roll again (it will shrink when you dip it into the sesame seeds). Place a ball of filling in the center, brush around with egg to make the dough stick more easily and fold the sides inward to form a square. With your index finger, press the corners down.
      Line a baking tray with non-stick paper and place the "flaounes", leaving 3 cm between them. Brush them with the beaten egg. Bake the flaounes in a wood-fired oven or preheated domestic oven at 180°C, fan, for 45-50 minutes or until well browned.


    If you are using ricotta, then taste the filling for salt, just before you add the eggs. “Anari” cheese is slightly salted, so with any substitution you need to balance the saltiness.
    Collections afternoon tea, baking, Cypriot food, Easter

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