Tremithopita – Terebinth pie
Whether a nibble or a treat, terebinth pies are definitely a delight for all. Thanks to their texture, they are ideal for dunking in coffee or tea.
The main ingredient of these delicious pies are the fruits of the terebinth tree (Pistacia Terebinthus). It is a deciduous small tree, indigenous to Cyprus and can be found throughout the island, from flat sea shores up to an altitude of 1300m. Terebinth trees abound at Akamas peninsula and Troodos mountain-range. They bloom in March and April, and their fruit grows from September to December. The fruit consists of small drupes, red at first and bluish-green at maturity. The fresh terebinth shoots can be eaten raw, pickled or fried with eggs.
In Cyprus there are three large centenarian terebinth trees, older than 200 years old, which have been declared protected by the Forestry Department. You can find one in the yard of Panagia church in Agios Theodoros Pitsilias village and the other two near Chrysosotiros church in Delikipos village.
After the fruits are harvested, they are washed to remove the tar. Then they are salted and left to dry in the sun. To make tremithopita (terebinth pie), apart from dried terebinth fruit, dough and sugar, we also add raisins. If you eat it freshly baked, you will enjoy it warm and soft. However, you may double-bake it, turning it into crispy rusks that will last longer.
Let’s try this easy tremithopita recipe:
1 kg rustic flour
8 gr yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup corn oil
1½ cup lukewarm water
1 cup terebinth seeds
½ cup seedless raisins
Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a ball. Gradually add the corn oil and lukewarm water and knead until you get a soft dough. Add the terebinth seeds and the raisins. Cover the dough and leave it to rest for about 30 minutes.
Make small dough patties of about 6 cm each, and flat them with a rolling pin to a diameter of about 16 cm.
Bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for about 40 minutes.