Skopelos island, apart from its unrivaled beauty, is also famous for its gastronomy. Since the year dot, Skopelos is well known for both its traditional recipes and its delicious appetizers. Nowadays, the Skopelian cheese pie is undoubtedly the prevailing traditional recipe of the island, being simultaneously distinct from the rest Greek pies. Its exceptional feature is its spiral shape and the thin pastry sheet.
Skopelian Cheese Pie – Its History
Its history begins from the deep past, when shepherds from Alonissos island should visit the small Sporades islands (Kyra-Panagia, Skatzoura, Gioura, Peristera), surrounding the bigger ones, in order to surveil the herds of wild goats living there. Due to the lack of motor-driven boats, they were forced to stay there for a few days. So, they had to be content with long-lasting food, such as flour, olive oil and dried cheese (Myzithra) as there was no fridge or oven. A pan was actually good enough to replace the woodstove.
In such a way, the fried pie began traveling from Alonissos to the opposite island, carried either by the “brides” who were sailing to marry a Skopelian man or by the women who were going to Skopelos for the annual olive harvest.
Skopelian Cheese Pie – The secret
The secret of Skopelian cheese pie is the opening of the dough, the frying in the pan and its local ingredients. Flour, olive oil and fresh goat cheese (Myzithra), totally pure products of the island. The dough is opened exclusively with a rolling pin and it needs patience so at to become so thin that one can “read” through it when lifted in the air, but not too thin that it breaks during frying. As far as the frying procedure is concerned, the olive oil has to be very hot and the pie has to hover in it. Immediately, the pie is going to expand like a doughnut and small blisters will take form on the dough.
Skopelian Cheese Pie – The recipe
If the above description has already whetted your appetite and you want to try making the famous Skopelian cheese pie, you may consult the instructions below.
For the dough: 500 grams of all-purpose flour, ½ cup of olive oil, 1 soup spoon of vinegar, 1 tea spoon of salt, warm water
For the filling: 250 grams of grated feta cheese, fresh grated pepper
For the frying: plenty of pure virgin olive oil
First and foremost, we sprinkle the grated feta cheese with plenty of pepper. We put all the ingredients for the dough in a big bowl and knead them until a smooth soft dough is shaped. We cover the dough with a towel and leave it to rest for half an hour. Afterwards, we separate the dough in 4 equal pieces and open each one with a rolling pin, on a sprinkled with flour surface, until it becomes a very thin pastry sheet.
We drizzle olive oil over the surface of the thin pastry sheet and sprinkle it with grated feta cheese, all around. Next, we fold the pastry sheet, drain the dough and make a spiral shape like a snail. We fry in very hot olive oil until it gets browned in both sides. Once we take it out of the pan, we immediately pour over thyme honey.
On the internet, one can discover a variety of recipes, differentiated from each other. Someone may suggest we use eggs in the dough, while others may recommend the use of baking powder or vinegar. However, you should know that the authentic traditional cheese pie of Skopelos consists of only flour, water, olive oil and cheese.
Last but not least, you can discover the traditional cheese pie of Skopelos at our hotels Rigas Hotel Skopelos and Skopelos Holidays Hotel & Spa, which participate in the program “Greek Breakfast™”, an initiative of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels aiming to highlight the wealth and variety of Greek Gastronomy and local cooking tradition.
If you try making the delicious Skopelian cheese pie, do not forget to share your experience with us with photos and tags on our Facebook page (@skopelosexperience) and Instagram page (@skopelos_experience). Good luck!!!