Melopita (Honey and Cheese Pie)
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick very cold, unsalted butter
1 egg, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon brandy or lemon juice
1 tablespoon ice water
Confectioners sugar (for rolling dough)
15 ounce container whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup wildflower or orange blossom honey
Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons sugar
cinnamon (optional for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Add the flour sugar and salt to a processor workbowl and pulse the machine 3 times to combine the ingredients.
- Cut the butter into 8 pieces and add them around the mixture and pulse the machine on and off about 10 times or until the mixture looks like lumpy sand.
- In a small custard cup combine the egg yolk with the vanilla, brandy (or lemon juice and the ice water. Stir together with the tip of a knife or a bar whisk. Immediately add to the dough and pulse the machine on and off until the mixture begins to come together. If mixture appears too dry add 1 more tablespoon of ice water. Do not let a ball of dough form or crust will be tough
- Remove dough and gently knead a few strokes to form a smooth ball. Pat dough into a disk, cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.
- Wipe out processor bowl (no need to wash) and add the remaining ingredients (except the cinnamon). Process until mixture is combined and free of all lumps. Scrape down bowl once during this process. Set aside.
- Generously sprinkle confectioners sugar on a board or your counter top. Place dough on prepared board cover with plastic wrap and roll out into a circle that is at least 10 inches in diameter (this will fill a 9 -10 inch quiche pan or 9 “ pie plate-whichever you choose to use)
- Transfer the dough to the quiche pan (I like to fold the dough in half and then quarters and place the point of the fold in the center of the pan and then unfold the dough.) Starting from the center, gently pat dough so that it is an even thickness on the bottom and pressed into the fluted sides of the pan. Use a rolling pin on the sides to cut off any excess dough.
- Brush some of the egg white on the dough and bake for 10-15 minutes until dough just begins to look a little dry.
- Remove pan from oven, lower temperature to 350°F, pour cheese mixture into crust and return to the oven for another 25 minutes or until custard doesn’t jiggle and is lightly golden.
- Brushing egg white on the top of the crust before filling helps prevent a soggy crust from forming.
- When working with cheese fillings, a slight movement of the filling is okay because it will solidify more upon refrigeration.
- If you want to eat this pie warm, let it rest for at least 15 minutes so that the pie will cut easily.