We call it Tahinopita but it has little to do with pie. It is cake. A cake made with tahini, the sesame paste, that substitutes any kind of fat. It is egg-free, it contains no oil or butter or any dairy product. It is nutritious and very popular during the Greek Orthodox Lent, especially during the Great Lent of the Holy Week.
It modern times terms it is a vegan cake.
In my broader family, women use to bake this cake on Good Friday, where the Lent is especially strict. The faithful are not allowed to eat even oil. This has also to do with the fact that believers take part in the Greek orthodox Holy Communion on Saturday morning.
Tahini is also known as Ardeh. Tahini or tahina is a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds. Tahini is served as a dip on its own or as a major component of hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva.
Here is the recipe Tahinopita 8-10 pieces
3 cups all purpose flour sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
optional: 1 teaspoon ginger
3/4 cup honey (lukewarm)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup tahini
1/2 cup water lukewarm
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup black currants
1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
1/2 fresh orange juice
optional: soak raisins and currants in a bit of cognac, drain them and add them to the Tahinopita.
orange zest, powder sugar, some walnuts for decoration
teaspoon measures: flat
Sift flour together with baking powder, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger
In a large bowl mix sugar with honey and tahini and stir well.
Add the water slowly-slowly.
Add small portions of the flour mix, a bit of the organe juice, some of the raisins, the currants and the walnuts. Mix well with a wooden spoon or the mixer.
Repeat procedure until all ingredients incl orange zest have been incorporated.
The mixture is pretty sticky. It has to be so thick that it fall in pieces from the spoon or mixer. If too thick add luke warm water or orange juice or a bit of flour if too runny.
Round tray – 26cm diameter
Brush the bottom of a round pan with tahini. Put a baking sheet and brush it also with the sesame paste.
Pour the Tahinopita mixture and make it even with a wet knife, a rubber or metal spatula.
Preheated oven: 177 C or 350 F
Bake for about an hour. After 50 min of baking make the est with a wooden stick or knife.
this one on the picture I baked at 180 C for 60 min. I think, it would not have a thick crust had I baked it for 50 min. Always make the test with a knife or stick!
Once the Tahinopitta has cooled off, decorate with powder sugar and some walnuts.
Some cut it into pieces right away.
It tastes better after one or even two days.