Here is a yummy Sfakiani pita: it is a sweet delicacy from the Mediterranean island of Crete! A thin pan fried flatbread stuffed with a ricotta type of Greek cheese. Finish the freshly fried treat with a good drizzle of honey.
What a delicacy!
Have you ever heard of this Sfakiani pita before?
I stayed some time ago near Sfakia for a couple of days while traveling around in Crete. Sfakia is a small, and still authentic and cute harbor village. You can find a handful of houses there together with a few cozy restaurants right by the sea.
Spending an afternoon or evening there is absolute bliss.
I had one favorite restaurant where I went every day to eat while I was there: Lefka Ori. This restaurant served typical Greek food, huge lamb and goat meat stews, baked classics like moussaka and spanakorizo spinach rice, giant white beans in tomato sauce called gigantes.
And fresh fish and grilled octopus of course!
The owners were so friendly as well. If I recall it well, the restaurant was run by 2 brothers. The first time we went there to eat, they were professional and fast but somehow a little standoffish.
However from the second time on they greeted us as if we were long time relatives.
We loved them!
There I discovered this local sweet pita specialty.
It was actually another customer who ordered this treat.
And because I had never seen it before, I asked the owner what exactly it was. He told me it was a Sfakiani pita: 2 layers of pan fried dough stuffed with a soft ricotta like cheese, sprinkled with honey.
You eat it as an afternoon snack or as a dessert.
But I would love to have it for breakfast from time to time!
Best Sfakiani Pita from Sfakia (Crete)
It looks like something between a stuffed pancake and a flatbread.
Spread the inside with mizithra, a typical Cretan soft cheese. But I used ricotta cheese instead. Drizzle the warm pita with honey right before serving.
The delicate clash between the sweet honey and savory hearty cheese is amazing.
Do you like mediterranean recipes?
Then you should also try out another Cretan specialty dish: dakos or ntakos! Or whole whet rusk topped with crushed fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, dried herbs, olives and olive oil!
Best Cretan Sfakiani Pita Recipe
- 3,5 oz plain flour (100 g)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 tbsp water (60 ml), tepid
- 1 tbsp ricotta
- 2 tbsp honey
Add the plain flour, olive oil, a pinch of salt and the tepid water to a clean blender.
Blend all the ingredients until you get a smooth dough. Then add a little extra water or flour if necessary.
Transfer the dough onto a clean surface. Knead it for a minute until elastic. Add some flour if it feels too sticky.
Wrap the dough in a piece of cling film and let it rest for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll out the dough and cut out 2 even circles. You can put a bowl on top and run a knife along the sides if that's easier.
Then spread the ricotta cheese evenly over one dough circles. Brush the edges with a little water. Cover with the remaining dough circles.
Gently press the edges with your fingers to seal them. Bake the pita in a dry non-stick pan over medium-low heat without any butter or oil for 2 to 3 minutes.
Flip the pita over and cook the other side until a little golden.
Place the pita on a plate and drizzle with some honey. Serve hot.
Our trip to Crete was quite a few years ago.
Which also means that I made this recipe some time ago as well.
Just a couple of days ago the hubs and me were watching Mark Wiens’ travel and food videos on YouTube. He is the guy behind Migrationology.com – have you heard of him before?
So since we can’t travel at this moment because of the corona pandemic, we have to find other ways to ‘travel’ a little from home.
Mark’s videos are great, we are absolutely hooked.
Bougatsa vs. Galaktoboureko
One of his travels took him to Crete, a Greek island in the Mediterranean Sea.
We were there a couple of years ago, also in the lovely seaside city of Chania and traveling around the island like Mark.
He tried a Greek specialty that made me think of my sfakiani pita above.
It goes by the name of bougatsa.
A sweet phyllo pastry filled with creamy custard and sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon. As Mark tucked into the bougatsa, it reminded me of that sfakiani pita.
I first thought it was galaktoboureki.
But then I heard the name bougatsa.
And immediately googled it to know what it was exactly.
Both look very similar though. The difference is in the syrup.
Galaktoboureki is also a sweet phyllo pastry filled with creamy custard. However it is soaked in syrup, and bougatsa is not.
Good to know!