Greek Orange filo pie portokalopita close-up in a baking dish. vertical
Food - Drink
Portokalopita: The Greek Orange Cake Packed With Shredded Phyllo
Anyone who has ever baked using phyllo dough knows it can be hard to work with, since the tissue-thin pastry dries out quickly and can easily tear. If you love flaky phyllo but don't like fussing with it, you should try a more low-maintenance treat: the flourless Greek cake called portokalopita, made with phyllo and orange.
It's believed that portokalopita originated with Greek women with a no-waste mindset, who used leftover strips and bits of phyllo dough and flavored them with orange. Portokalopita belongs to a class of Greek desserts called siropiasta, or sweets soaked in syrup after baking, which gives the cake its signature moist, almost juicy texture.
The first step to making portokalopita involves separating individual sheets of phyllo dough and letting them either air-dry or drying them out in a low-heat oven. The soaking syrup is made by combining and heating sugar, water, fresh orange juice and zest, and a cinnamon stick, until the sugar dissolves and everything thickens.
The cake batter includes eggs, sugar, Greek yogurt, oil, baking powder, orange zest and juice, and vanilla, and once all these ingredients are combined, you stir in the dried shreds of phyllo dough until everything is bound together. The mixture is then poured into a greased baking dish and baked until the top is browned.
After removing the pan from the oven, slowly pour the cooled orange syrup all over the top and let it absorb into the cake. After cooling the whole thing in the refrigerator, you'll have a sweet and intensely orange-y portokalopita, which can be served cold during the summer, or warmed up to become a toasty winter treat.