I adore summertime, as all of you I guess, and I adore, homemade and fresh summery flavours.
Diples or Thiples is a Greek dessert from the Peloponnese, made of thin sheet-like dough. They are essentially the same as angel wings, except that they are dipped in syrup rather than served dry. The dough is rolled into long, thin strips, fried and folded in hot oil and then dipped in a sugar or honey syrup.
In case you are not familiar with them, Diples get their name from the Greek word for “fold.”
They are thin sheets of dough that are folded while being fried into a crispy package that is drizzled with honey and dusted with cinnamon and ground walnuts.
This recipe has been adapted from the cookbook of the Ladies Philoptochos Society of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Elgin, Illinois.
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 2 tbsp. butter (melted and cooled)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp. brandy
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 inches of vegetable oil (or shortening for frying)
- For the Syrup:
- 1 cup honey
- 2 tsp. water
- Garnish: cinnamon (ground)
- 1/2 cup ground walnuts
Steps to Make It
- Gather the ingredients.
- Sift the flour with the baking powder into a bowl and set aside.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and whole egg on high speed until the eggs are thick and smooth and the color is light yellow – about 4 to 5 minutes.
Combine the melted butter, orange juice, and brandy. With the mixer running, add to the egg mixture until incorporated.
Add the flour in 1/2 cup increments until the dough comes together and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. If you have a dough hook for your mixer, you can attach it and knead the dough with the machine. If not, turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand.
Continue kneading the dough until it has a smooth and elastic texture, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Separate the dough into four pieces, and rest it on the counter covered with plastic wrap for about half an hour.
After the dough has rested, roll out each section into rectangles about the size of a sheet pan. The dough should be very thin about 1/16th of an inch thick or about the thickness of a piece of cardboard.
Using a knife or rolling cutter, cut the dough into sheets that are about 5 inches wide and about 10 inches long. Lay the cut pieces on a tray separated by wax paper sheets to prevent them from sticking together.
To fry, you will need a pan with a wide bottom and a depth of about 4 to 5 inches. The oil will need to be poured to about 3 inches in depth.
Heat the oil or vegetable shortening until shimmering but not smoking hot. If the oil is too hot your diples will get too dark and will cook too quickly, making it difficult to roll them.
Place a dough sheet in the hot oil. Using two large cooking forks, hold the end furthest away from you and roll the sheet away from you. You can pierce the sheet with the fork or simply place the edge between the tines of the fork.
Hold the roll in the oil until both sides are a light golden color.
These cook quickly so be sure to have your ingredients and tools in place. It’s best to cut all the dough sheets before you begin frying. Drain and remove the rolls to a tray layered with paper towels and stand them on their ends to prevent them from becoming mushy.
To make the syrup, combine the honey and the water and heat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave. Place the diples on a serving platter and drizzle with the syrup. Sprinkle with ground walnuts and ground cinnamon.
To keep the diples crisp, do not add the syrup until just before you are ready to serve.
In 2015 Jamie Oliver visited Ikaria, also spelled Icaria, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. That visit was part of his research into the important role of the food people eat in longevity. The residents of the island are known for their longevity and their nutritional habits.
During his visit he tasted local cuisine and specialities such as fried mullet, herb pie, pumpkin pie and broad beans with fennel.
He then made trahanas, whole grain cracked wheat, cooked with milk, dried in the sun .
Lazarakia (λαζαράκια), meaning little Lazarus, are sweet, spicy small bread that are handmade on Lazarus Saturday, one week before the Greek Orthodox Easter. They represent the miracle of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead, after four days in the tomb. They are shaped like boys with crossed arms on their chest. Also their bodies seem to be wrapped in burial clothes.
It is said that this tradition of baking lazarakia started in Cyprus where Saint Lazarus was the first bishop of the island.
Our favourite recipe below is from OrthodoxMom.com
- 4 1/2 tsp. yeast
- 12-14 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tsp. salt
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. aniseed or anise extract
if available you can also add:
- 1 tsp. mahlepi
- 1/2 tsp. masticha
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of the 2 1/2 – 3 cups lukewarm water.
- Add sugar and salt and stire well.
- Add remaining water, oil cinnamon and 6 cups flour and stir the mixture until creamy.
- Slowly add enough of remaining flour to make a medium dough.
- Divide dough into however many Lazarakia you’d like and roll into logs. Cut slits for arms and legs. Cross arms across chest and pinch a head.
- Place on slightly greased cookie sheets, cover with towel and let rise for about an hour or until almost doubled in size.
- Bake loaves for 20-30 minutes or until hollow when tapped on bottom.
Autumn is about new flavours in our kitchen. Our favorite fruits of this season are figs. Figs are ready to be eaten when they are soft in touch. Figs perish quickly, so the sooner you est them the better. Some people do not peel the before they eat them but we choose to peel them. Figs go well with nuts, blue cheese and prosciutto. Here is the recipe we used to make a delicious fig jam.
- 1 kg ripped figs, peeled and chopped
- 500gr caster sugar
- Lemon juice of one lemon
- 1 glass of water
- Mash the figs and place them in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Cook over very low heat.
- Add gradually the sugar and stir until the mixture thickens.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool.
- Your jam is ready.
- Put it in glass jars and preserve it in the fridge.