Sunday, 20 December 2015

Melomakarona (Μελομακάρονα)

What kind of Greek food blog is one that does not include a recipe for the traditional Greek Christmas shortbread known as melomakarona? An incomplete one for sure. As my sister is the melomakarona maker in this family, here is her recipe, which I made this year.

This recipe makes a lot of melomakarona - I halved it, and got this plate, as well as another half plate. It is a simple recipe, and an easy one to make in one afternoon. For modern eaters, this recipe is vegan (and can be made gluten-free by adding gluten free all purpose flour).

The olive oil, orange juice, honey and walnuts are all local products, all produced just 10-30 kilometres away from my home. Without being biased, these melomakarona are truly delicious: they taste like a whiff of Crete in every bite.

1 litre olive oil
1 ¾ kilos all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed (not from a packet/carton - the final product won't taste right)
some ground cinnamon  and cloves
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons semolina
Mix everything together, leaving the flour till last.

Bake at 180C till golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. When cool, dip lightly in syrup (recipe below):
1 cup honey
2 cups sugar
3 cups water
Boil everything together, till the syrup sets slightly (about 20 minutes on a rolling boil).

Either the biscuits must be hot and the syrup cold, or the biscuits must be cold and the syrup hot (I do the latter - it's easier to warm up the syrup after making the biscuits).

Dip the biscuits in the syrup and allow them to soak in the syrup for up to a minute, turning them over once. As you pull them out of the syrup, coat them in ground walnuts.

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