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“Melitini” means sweet cheese tartlets from Santorini

Enjoy a mouth-watering version of a typical Eastern dessert from the island of Santorini for 8 people!

Ingredients for the dough:
300 gr. plain flour
¼ cup sunflower oil
a pinch of mastic crystals, ground in a mortar with a pinch of salt
lukewarm water

Ingredients for the filling:
350 gr. granulated sugar
350 gr. unsalted soft cheese, such as mizíthra or anthótyro
2 eggs
2 sachets of vanilla powder
a pinch of mastic crystals, ground in a mortar with a little sugar
½ cup plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder

Preparation:
Sieve the flour, add the mastic-salt mixture and then gradually mix in the sunflower oil until the dough becomes smooth and firm. Set it aside for half an hour and preheat the oven to 165-175o C. Then prepare the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, the cheese, the vanilla, the mastic and the egg whites together for 10 minutes. Slowly whisk in the flour and the baking powder. In the bowl of another electric mixer beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, and quickly (but gently) fold the cheese mixture into the egg whites.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. The dough should be rolled out as thin as possible. Place the dough in the prepared tart pan and, using your fingertips, evenly press it onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place a heaped teaspoon of cheese filling in the centre of the dough and pinch the edges of the dough together to make an ersatz tartlet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Bake for 50 minutes until the cheese mixture has solidified or until the crust is golden brown.

Store covered in the refrigerator and serve cold.

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