Cretan Kalitsounia

Kalitsounia (aka Cretan Cheese – Cinnamon Pastries) is one of the most featured Easter dishes in Crete and especially in Chania.


  1. For the filling, combine the cheeses, lightly beaten egg yolks, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and melted butter in a bowl. The mixture should be thick enough to mound, but not stiff; add 1 tablespoon milk, if necessary. Set aside while you make the dough.
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, then cut in the butter and mix by rubbing between your fingers.
  3. Mix in the vanilla, egg whites, and enough milk to make a soft dough.
  4. Knead until smooth and elastic, then break off small pieces and roll as thin of a dime. (The dough will be elastic and can be rolled easily.)
  5. Cut into circles 4-inches in diameter (teacup size), then on each circle place a teaspoon of the cheese filling.
  6. Wet the circle edge with water or milk and fold over to form a half-moon, then seal with the tines of a fork or pastry wheel.
  7. Arrange the Kaltsounia on buttered cookie sheets and bake in a moderate oven (350 F) for 25 minutes, or until the pastry puffs up and turns a light chestnut color.
  8. Remove from the oven, and place on racks, and dust with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon.
  9. Serve hot or cold.


  • 1 1/2 c Fresh mizithra or ricotta
  • 2 c All-purpose flour
  • 2 tb Grated hard ricotta
  • 1 pn Salt
  • 2 Eggs; separated
  • 1 ts Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c Granulated sugar
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tb Butter; melted
  • 4 tb Milk (or more)



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