Greek Easter…

April is here already, it doesn’t seem that long ago that it was Christmas, but here I am now preparing for Easter.  I love this time of year.

Preparations for Easter begin on Holy Thursday when the eggs are dyed red and families begin their baking, making tsourekia and koulouria.  The house fills with the exotic aromas of mahlepi and warm baked goods straight out of the oven.

The traditional Easter mayeritsa soup, made with offal and finished with an egg and lemon sauce, is made on Easter Saturday to be eaten when everyone is back home from midnight mass that night.

Easter Sunday is a day spent with family and friends and every soul feasts on roasted lamb.  Red eggs are cracked and everyone, not only the small children and believe me my family can get very competitive, want to have the strongest egg.

These are the family traditions that I love.

I like to make Revani also for Easter, always need some extra sweet things on hand…

Here are my recipes for my koulouria and revani…

Koulouria (Easter biscuits)

150 grams unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup oil
self-raising  flour
2 egg yolks, beaten

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Cream butter and sugar and add eggs in one at a time.  Add vanilla, orange juice and oil.  Combine well.

Start adding flour, a little at a time, mixing continuously with one hand.  Add as much flour as required to form a smooth dough hat is not too sticky.  Avoid overworking the mixture as that will make the biscuits tough.

Take pieces of the dough and, on a smooth surface, roll into a cylinder, fold in half and twist.  Continue until all the dough is finished.

Place on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet.  Brush tops with beaten egg yolks and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Revani (semolina cake)

2 cups oil
1 cup caster sugar
6 eggs
juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semolina
2 cups self-raising flour

Syrup –

1 cup sugar
2 cups water
lemon zest

Preheat oven to 200° C.

Using an electric mixer, combine the oil and sugar.  Slowly add eggs, one at a time.  Add the orange juice, vanilla, semolina and flour and keep mixing until well combined.

Pour into a prepared baking dish and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until cooked. Allow to cool.

To prepare the syrup, bring 2 cups of water, sugar and lemon zest to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Pour onto the cake slowly.

Cut into pieces and serve at room temperature or cold with a generous spoonful of natural Greek yogurt drizzled with honey and sprinkled with pistachios.