Cretan Kaltsounia

These little special Greek desserts come from Crete! They are very good and not that common in taste in the French Cuisine :-) they are usually served during marriages and they are so good that we eat them at every occasion! They are perfumed with cinnamon that goes really well with Philadelphia cheese and the final result is slightly sweet and very delicate :-) Go ahead and make them to bring some delicacy in your life :-)

In two words:

“ You have thrown the darts and reached the goal:
Let’s drink some wine,
And be together for the rest of our lives”

To Start...

difficulty a bit of effort is required to make these small desserts
preparation- 1h + 1h (resting time)
cooking - 20′
serves - 12  


for the dough

  • 150gr of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ a glass of caster sugar
  • ¼ a glass of olive oil
  • ¼ a glass of milk
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

for the cream

  • 140gr of cream cheese type Philadelphia
  • 1/8 a glass of caster sugar
  • ½ egg of medium size
  • a pinch and a bit more of cinnamon (or even more if you like)

for bringing up everything together

  • 1 egg
  • a bit of cinnamon


for the dough

  • Incorporate the baking powder into the lemon juice
  • Use a whisk to whisk together in a bowl:
    • the olive oil
    • the milk
    • the mix baking powder/lemon juice
    • the sugar
  • Add slowly the flour and stir with a tablespoon
  • Once the dough is starting to form itself, start using your hands to bring it all together; if needed add or use less flour, you should have a soft dough at the end
  • Put the dough into a bowl and cover it up with a humid cloth
  • Let it rest for 1h

for the cream

  • Whisk together with an electric hand mixer:
    • the cream cheese
    • the sugar
    • the egg
    • the cinnamon

to form the small kaltsounia

  • Preheat the oven at 180°C
  • Roll the dough to 2-3mm of height
  • Use a container with a diameter of 7cm to cut off disks of dough
  • With your fingers and press the edges of the dough to form some kind of a lace
  • Use your finger to press down more the dough inside the lace
  • Fill in with 1-2 teaspoons of the cream mixture
  • Put the kaltsounia in a tray covered with parchment paper
  • Whisk the egg and cover up the top of the kaltsounia
  • Sprinkle some cinnamon on top
  • Cook for 20’
  • It’s better to eat them the same day, they can be kept for 2-3 days, but they are better the same day

What’s the story behind this dessert?

These small Cretan desserts are very good and they are usually served during marriages but they are good for any moment! They are called kaltsounia or καλτσούνια. In Greece the dough is usually thicker but this lesser height gives them a delicacy that is quite interesting :) Furthermore, in Greece and more precisely in Crete, we use a special local cheese called myzithra cheese or μυζήθρα ; it’s a cheese that has a mild taste and becomes creamy when you press it with your hands or a fork and it’s very good to make sweets. Here, I suggest to use Philadelphia cheese because it’s the only cheese that I can find in France that resembles a little bit to the Greek cheese when it’s pressed.

Regarding measures, in this recipe, a glass refers to a container that can contain 250ml of water.

Go ahead and make these small desserts even if their making takes a little while because they are really good! and not that common in French Cuisine :)


Une recette dans le livre grec :

Ψιλάκης Νίκος, Ψιλάκη Μαρία, Κρητική Κουζίνα: Το θαύμα της κρητικής διατροφής, Kαρμανωρ (*)

(*) I will give you the exact reference once I have access to my book again :) 

o-o C'est si bon ! o-o

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