Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Paskies me Prozimi (Lamb and Cheese Pie with Sourdough)


For the Pastry:

  • 1 kilo of hard flour
  • 750 grams of soft flour
  • 1 cup of sourdough starter
  • 175 grams of vegetable shortening
  • 4 cups of warm water
  • 3/4 of a cup of corn oil
  • 3/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of mastic
  • 1/4 tsp of mahleb kernels

For the Filling:

  • 1 kilo of boneless lamb
  • 4 onions finely chopped
  • Corn oil for frying
  • 3 cups of “Village” cheese or grated Kefalotiri
  • 1 1/2 cup of grated Halloumi cheese
  • 1/2 a cup of grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 a cup of self raising flour
  • 5 eggs (as many as needed)
  • 1/5 tsp of mastic
  • 1/5 tsp of mahleb kernels
  • 1/2 cup of sourdough starter
  • 1 egg lightly beaten for glazing the filling
  • Fresh mint finely chopped to taste
  • Salt, pepper and cinnamon to taste

For Glazing:

  • 500 grams of sesame seeds
  • 1-2 eggs lightly beaten

  • The above ingredients should make 11-12 Paskies.
  • Adjust ingredients as needed.
  • It is a long process to make Paskies me Prozimi (Lamb and Cheese Pie with Sourdough) and it acquires passion for cooking and at the end is worth it.
Lamb and Cheese Pie with Sourdough

Lamb and Cheese Pie with Sourdough

Preparation of the cheese and sourdough:

  • If you are using “Village” cheese, buy the cheese three weeks prior making the Paskies, place in cheese cloth and hang for 3-4 days in a shady airy place to remove most of the water and dry.
  • After the 3-4 days of hanging, place in a tray and leave uncovered for another 3-4 days.
  • Store in the fridge uncovered for the remaining time until you are ready to use it.
  • Also for the same period of time, place the Cheddar cheese in the fridge uncovered to dry.
  • About a week before you start baking, remove the Halloumi cheese from the packing that is coming in and also place in the fridge uncovered to dry.
  • The day before making the filling, we refresh the sourdough starter.
  • Place the 1/2 a cup sourdough starter in a bowl and add 1/2 level tsp of salt, add 1/2 a cup of warm water and dissolve with your hands.
  • Add a little bit at a time the hard flour (about 4 cups) and knead well until the dough is no longer sticking to your hands.
  • In another bowl, put 1/4 cup of hard flour and transfer 1 1/2 a cup of the refreshed starter shaped into a ball.
  • With a knife, make a cross in the center of the ball, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of flour, cover with a kitchen towel and a woolen cloth and set aside for about 21 hours until it rises and cracks.
  • With this starter, 1/2 a cup will be used to make the filling and 1 cup will be used for making the pastry the following day.
  • If any starter is left, put some salt on the bottom of a container (preferably plastic with cover) place the remaining starter in it, make a cross with a knife, cover with kitchen towel and set aside for a day or two until it rises and cracks.
  • Cover the container with the lid and place in the freezer for future use.

  • After the 21 hours have past, leaving the starter to rise, we prepare the filling:
  • In a large enough bowl, add the three kinds of cheeses (grated) and mix to combine.
  • Add the self raising flour, mastic and mahleb cherry kernels crushed with some flour.
  • Make a hole in the middle of the bowl by pushing the cheese aside and add the 1/2 a cup of the refreshed starter.
  • Add 4 eggs to the starter and work with your hands until they are fully combined.
  • Knead in the grated cheeses by adding the other egg and mint.
  • The cheese filling mixture should not be stiff as the meat will be added to it the following day.
  • Press the filling with your hands to make an even surface and brush with some lightly beaten egg.
  • Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside for about 16 hours to rise and have a spongy texture.

Meat Preparation:

  • Wash and cut the meat in small cubes about 3-4 cm.
  • Pour the corn oil into a sauce pan and fry the meat on all sides until is half cooked.
  • Add the chopped onions, salt and pepper to taste, cinnamon, some water and simmer until the meat is cooked.
  • Place the meat mixture into a strainer to drain the excess oil and store in the fridge overnight.
  • The following day, add the meat mixture to the cheese mixture and mix well until they are combined.

Preparation of the pastry:

  • In a large enough bowl mix the two kinds of flour, add the salt, mahleb cherry kernels crushed with some flour and mix.
  • Add the shortening and corn oil and rub with your hands until is crumbly.
  • Make a hole in the center by pushing the flour aside and add 1 cup of sourdough starter.
  • Add 2 cups of warm water and work with your hands to dissolve the starter.
  • Gradually add the other two cups of water and knead into a stiff dough.
  • Roll out a piece of dough about 3 mm thick and about 17 cm in diameter sheet and press gently into the sesame seeds so the stick to the bottom side.
  • Place about 6 heaped tsp of filling in the center of each round pastry sheet.
  • Roll out another piece of dough into a 15 cm round sheet, press gently into the sesame seeds and cover the filling (sesame side up).
  • Overlap the bottom sheet with the top sheet and seal the edges crimping them with your fingers.
  • Continue the above directions until all dough and filling is used.
  • Cover all Paskies with kitchen towels and set aside for about 4 hours to rise.
  • Place in a lightly greased baking pans, brush with beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven at 220 degrees Celsius (see conversions).
  • When they rise, reduce the oven temperature to 170 degrees Celsius (see conversions) and bake until they are golden brown.
  • Paskies me Prozimi (Lamb and Cheese Pie) can be eaten hot or cold.
  • Paskies are still made in some villages of Paphos Cyprus and they are usually made on Holy Saturday after they slaughter their traditional lamb for the Easter celebration.

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