As we are slowly getting back to some sort of new normal, this week we have a baking recipe for you. The other day we got some lovely strawberries from the market and made a delicious strawberry compote! And what pairs perfectly with strawberries? Scones of course!

But these are no ordinary scones. They are made with kefir! They have a beautiful texture and a more complex flavour. We also used our beloved Corinth raisins. They come from a small unique variety of grape endemic to the Corinthian region of the Peloponnese. They are small in size, which makes them perfect for baking. And they have this toffee-like flavour that you’ll never forget. So let’s bake these unique scones and get ready for afternoon tea in the park!

Makes 10-12

50g Corinth raisins
250g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 pinch of salt
65g butter
100ml kefir, plus a bit more for baking (You can find our Kefir in our Borough Market shop)
50ml water

In a large bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Add the butter and using your fingers, rub the butter and flour mixture together until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Mix the kefir and water together, so that you have a milk-like liquid.

Add the liquids into your bowl and mix using a fork until just about combined. Kneed it just a bit so that your dough comes together, but do not overmix!

Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s 4cm thick. Using a round cutter or a glass, cut off rounds of dough.

Place on a baking sheet that you’ve covered with greaseproof paper.

Brush the top of each scone with a bit of kefir. Bake at 200C for around 13 minutes, or until your scones are golden.

Serve with Greek yoghurt and last week’s strawberry compote or with butter and honey!


This week we’ve got a fascinating recipe for you, which we prepared using the last nettles of the season. We love nettles! A few weeks ago we made a wonderful nettle pesto, so this week we decided to go for something a bit more unusual. In Greece we usually put nettles in pies, but it’s rare that we would ever make something sweet.

But there was Mrs Kalliopi’s delicious olive oil cake recipe, which called for fresh fruit -we had originally made it with graded apples, if you remember? So we thought, why not try with nettles? So there you have it, a bright green olive oil cake with nettles –and a bit of apple. Nettles have a unique flavour, imagine something between spinach, cucumber, a bit grassy, this sort of thing. So now imagine a sweet version of this, and that’s our cake!

As always, make sure to use gloves when handling nettles and to blanch them before using them in cooking.

Makes one small tin

½ cup olive oil
1 large bunch of nettles
1 large green apple
zest from 1 lemon (optional)
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Apple oil (to serve)

Preheat the oven at 180C.

Using gloves, pick the leaves from the nettles and discard the stalks.
In a large pot with boiling water blanch the nettles for 3-5 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Place the nettles in a clean tea towel and squeeze out as much water as you can. Finely chop or (better), blend them into a smooth paste. You should be left with roughly ¾ cups of nettle pulp.

Peel, core and grate the apple. Mix together the apple, nettle pulp and lemon zest if using. Set aside

In a separate bowl sieve together the flour and baking powder and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and olive oil. Add the egg and whisk again until fully incorporated. Slowly add the flour and mix until incorporated. Add the nettles and apple and stir well with a wooden spoon.

Transfer to a greased and floured baking tin. Bake at 180°C for approximately 25 minutes, or until the cake is golden-brown on top and cooked through. To check, you can insert a knife and see if it comes our clean.

Serve with Greek yoghurt and our fragrant apple oil!


Last week we celebrated Greek Easter. Celebrations this year were very different, with large family gatherings being replaced by phone and video calls, baskets filled with food gifts and love shared from a distance. It was a strange Easter, no doubt.

With our families often far away, we spent a lot of time preparing old family recipes. You see, food always makes us feel closer to home. In my family, we made the traditional mageiritsa soup, a soup made with offal and lots of spring greens. Marianna made her mothers’ traditional recipe of flaounes. Flaounes is a cheese-filled pastry from the island of Cyprus, that is traditionally prepared for Easter. Marianna’s family usually makes flaounes on the Thursday before Easter, and eats them on Easter Sunday – and the entire week after!

Marianna’s mother, Mrs Kalliopi does all sorts of amazing dough-based recipes. Remember her olive oil apple cake? And her kourou dough?

So this year, she sent us from Athens her hand-written recipe of flaounes, which we couldn’t but share with you this week! I always find it exciting to get hand-written old family recipes, don’t you?

This recipe makes more flaounes than you can eat (around 12). This is because making them is a communal process, where neighbours come together and all cook together. Now, at times of quarantine, make the whole recipe and share the flaounes with your neighbours!

Dough
1kg all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp mahlepi, ground (we got ours from Spice Mountain)
½ tbsp mastiha, ground to dust with ½ tbsp sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Filling
700g graviera cheese, grated
2 pieces of halloumi, grated
10 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup Corinth raisins
3 tbsp dried spearmint

1 egg and sesame (for baking)

In a large bowl, sieve together your dry ingredients: flour, baking poder, salt, mahlepi, mastiha.
Add the butter and using your fingers, mix everything together, until you have a texture that resembles small breadcrumbs.
Whisk the milk and eggs together and add to your mixture.
Kneed until you have a dough that is not sticky.

Let it rest for an hour, in a warm place.

Preheat the oven at 170C.

While your dough is resting, make the filling: grate the cheeses all together. Whisk the eggs, adding the baking powder and spearmint. Mix together the cheeses, egg mixture and raisins. You should have a filling that is slightly dense in texture.

On a clean surface, dust some flour and using a rolling pin, roll out your dough. Cut large rounds of dough, using a small plate as a guide.

Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling in each round, and fold the ends inwards, so that you have a neat parcel – but not all the way, you should be able to see some of the filling in the centre. Pinch the ends with a fork, to ensure the dough will hold its shape during baking..

Place the flaounes in a buttered baking tray. Whisk the egg and brush generously over each flaouna. Sprinkle with sesame.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.


All of us at Oliveology love cooking with as little waste as possible. We love putting leftover veggies in hearty soups, to make tarts with whatever jarred ingredients we have in our fridge, and we even make bread with olives and sun-dried tomatoes we don’t feel like eating anymore.

When it comes to overripe fruit, we always go for jams. But I have been for years wondering about banana bread. You see, it’s not a cake, and it’s not a bread either. How does one eat it, really? So last week, when we had some overripe bananas, I knew it was time to see for myself. And when we say overripe, we mean black outside. Don’t bin them, make this recipe!

And of course, as you may know, we love adding olive oil and honey in almost everything. So banana bread could be no exception. This recipe also has Greek yoghurt, and wholemeal barley flour. And we also used a heart-shaped cake tin, no particular reason there.

What to expect: A dark brown colour, very airy, bouncy texture and a wholesome taste that is not at all sweet. So indeed, the name bread is really accurate.

Makes one large loaf (or a heart-shaped tin)

400g very ripe bananas
5tbsp vanilla fir honey
5tbsp olive oil
100g yoghurt (you can find it at our shops at Borough Market and Spa Terminus)
3 eggs
200g wholemeal barley flour
1tbsp baking soda
1tbsp baking powder
30g walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat the oven at 180C.

In a large bowl whisk the bananas until smooth. If you are left with a few banana lumps, that’s ok.

Add the honey, olive oil and yoghurt and whisk again. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until you have a smooth mixture with a few banana lumps.

In a separate bowl, sieve the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the mixture to the banana bowl and mix well. You should have something that looks like a slightly denser cake batter.

Grease your cake or bread tin with olive oil and dust with flour. Pour the batter in it and sprinkle the walnuts on top.

Bake at 180C for 30-45 minutes. The banana bread is ready when you insert a knife into the centre and it comes out clean.

Serve with Greek yoghurt and plenty of honey!


This week we are feeling quite autumn-y. And what goes better with autumn, than wonderful baking activities on a Sunday afternoon!

So this week we are making a recipe that is something between a bread and a cake. What do we mean? It is a dough made with flour, nuts and dried fruit! It is very moist and not at all sweet. You can have it with tea, butter and honey for a filling breakfast, serve it as part of your cheese platter alongside crackers, or even enjoy as is.

For this recipe we used dried apricots and cherries. As our dried fruit have no added sugar, the result is dense and flavourful. But do not expect it to be sweet. It is more on the bitter/sour side. So if you wish, you can add a bit of honey or sugar in the recipe, or omit the balsamic vinegar. But first, try this one, it really is something special, especially served with plenty of honey.

Another idea would be to get our Autumn Baking bundle and use all of its ingredients for this recipe!

This recipe is adapted from a recipe created by Nena Ismirnoglou, whose recipes always surprise us with their simplicity and flavour.

Makes a medium-sized cake tin

200g all-purpose flour
8g dried yeast
300g dried fruit (we used a combination of apricots and cherries)
50ml balsamic cream with mandarin
120ml water
100g nuts (we used raw almonds and raw hazelnuts
2 tbsp oak honey, plus more to serve
½ tsp ground cloves, cinnamon or other warm spices

Finely chop the dried fruit. Warm up the balsamic cream with the water and pour over the fruit. Let them soak for 30minutes.

Ground the almonds and hazelnuts. Mix together your flour, ground nuts and spices.

In a large bowl whisk together the yeast with 2tbsp of warm water. Add to the bowl the flour-nuts mixture and dried fruit. Knead well until you have a slightly sticky dough. Cover with a tea-towel and let your dough rest in a warm environment for 30minutes.

Preheat your oven at 180C.

Place some greaseproof paper on a cake tin and drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of honey. Place your dough in the tin and push it gently. Drizzle the rest of the honey on top of the dough.

Bake for 30min. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.


Happy Apple Day everyone! Every year we are really looking forward to this day. Even though we are well into autumn, somehow this day feels like the beginning of a more wintery autumn, if that makes any sense. The market is now full of our favourite butternut squash, loads of mushrooms, and of course apples, so many different apples! Our shop is open today, so come by. Next best thing you can do this Sunday other than apple picking!

Every year we are amazed at the variety of colours, flavours and different textures of the apples that we find at the market. For our recipe today we have selected three different varieties. Join us, ‘tis the season to do so! Every year on apple day we are longing for something sweet. Remember our olive oil apple cake from last year? This year we went for something sweet again. And we used olive oil again. Only this time we put our apple oil into the game! This is by far my favourite of all the olive oils that we have at Oliveology. Without getting too carried away, just imagine: semi-ripe olives, apples, honey, sage, lemon, walnuts, cinnamon, all crushed together. Exquisite is an understatement.

But let’s get on to our recipe, an apple tarte tatin with grape molasses instead of sugar!

6 apples (approx. 800g) – we used royal gala, granny smith and sunburst
50g salted butter
50g Corinth raisins
50g walnuts
100ml grape molasses
25ml apple oil, plus more to serve
1 tsp mixed spices (we used a combination of cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, cloves, ginger, nutmeg)
1 sheet puff pastry (approx. 320g)
Greek yogurt (to serve)

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cut the apples in half and then each half in 4 wedges, removing the cores and seeds. In a heavy bottomed frying pan and over medium heat melt the butter and add the apples. Stir gently and add the spices, walnuts and raisins. Let the apples, raisins and nuts cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often. Apples should be slightly tender and coated with butter and spices. Add the grape molasses and stir for 2 more minutes.

Use the apple oil to oil a baking tray. Arrange your apples very tightly in rows or whichever shape you prefer, making sure the apples are spread out and don’t overlap. Scatter the raisins and walnuts and all the juices from the pan. Cover with the sheet of puff pastry and tuck in the ends. With a fork pierce the puff pastry to a few places, to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 20-25min, or until the puff pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool a bit. Place a serving platter on top of your tray and with one swift move, invert your tart onto the serving platter.

Serve with a dollop of yogurt and drizzle some more apple oil. Hint: this tart is actually quite good eaten at room temperature the next morning.


We rarely make cookies here at Oliveology’s blog. I have to admit, I personally am more of a cook and less of a baker. Those of you cooking passionately will smile, as indeed baking is a whole different world than cooking. But that doesn’t mean that when we do bake we don’t enjoy it! The spiced molasses cookies that we made during the holidays last year filled our shop with winter spices. Over the years all of us cooking for Oliveology have made some delicious seasonal cakes, like last autumn’s butternut squash cake, and some less ordinary ones such as the olive oil apple cake or the no-sugar grape molasses cake!

In the beginning of this summer, for reasons unknown, I started baking cookies. I discovered that baking cookies after a long day can actually be quite relaxing. So this week, inspired by our product of the month, the Corinth raisins and Honey &Co’s recipes, we have a very fun and ‘relaxing’ recipe for you!

Our Corinth raisins are small in size, but punch above their weight in terms of their sweetness and taste. They do lay somewhere between fudge and chocolate if you ask me. I can’t think of a better ingredient for these cookies. And as always, there’s a twist: tahini! Its nuttiness adds depth –and as we are using less butter, we like to feel that these are ‘healthier’ cookies.

If any of you feel like experimenting and substituting all of the butter in this recipe for the tahini, please drop us a line. I am very curious if it will work. And for more healthier-living ideas, recipes and of course fun, join our workshops this year! Delicious collaborations are here and spaces are filling fast!

For 16 cookies you will need:

140g butter
200g dark muscovado sugar
1 egg
110g tahini
150g all purpose flour
100g wholemeal flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
100g Corinth raisins
50g nuts (optional)

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and tahini and mix well. In a separate bowl sieve all your dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, baking powder. Using a wooden spoon slowly fold everything together. Add the raisins and nuts if using. Be careful not to overmix.

Now, some people say that the beauty in baking cookies is tasting the uncooked dough. We are those people. But if you are hesitant about raw eggs please don’t.

Place your cookie dough in the fridge for half an hour. Form your cookies and place them in a baking tray that you have covered in greaseproof paper. Make sure there is enough space between them as they will flatten.

Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes, or a tiny bit more if you prefer them crunchy!

Enjoy with some warm milk sweetened with grape molasses.


One of the things we enjoy the most during this holiday season is baking. There is something quite unique when the house fills with aromas. Especially when it comes to these spices we have associated with this time of the year. Yes, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, pepper, all these fragrant spices make us feel even more festive.

This week we have prepared cookies! Soft and moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. But as cookies go, you can of course go for the crunch throughout. Just let them bake for a few more minutes. For these cookies we have used one of our favourite ingredients, grape molasses. When I was growing up, my father would prepare for me and my sister a slice of bread, with a thin layer of butter and grape molasses on top. The memory of this intense and strangely fragrant syrup always comes to mind when I open a bottle of grape molasses and smell it. And to this day, I find it very hard to describe its unique taste.

But back to the cookies.

The recipe below is adapted from Bon Appetit. We used a mixture of our favourite spices, but as always, feel free to substitute. If you love cinnamon, just use cinnamon, if you hate cloves, just make it without.

For 20 cookies you will need:

100g dark brown sugar
110g unsalted butter
½ egg
55g grape molasses
60g whole wheat flour
75g white flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp mixed spices (we used a combination of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, pepper)

1 tbsp milk, 1 tbsp grape molasses and icing sugar (optional, to glaze)

 

Whisk together both flours, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.

In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and whisk just to combine. Add molasses and whisk again until incorporated.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to your mixture, carefully so as not to over-mix.

Place in the fridge for at least an hour.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Using your hands, form small or larger balls and place them on your tray, leaving space in between your cookies as they will expand. Bake for 7-12 minutes, or until you have reached your desired softness.

If you want to glaze them, stir the milk and grape molasses until well combined. Slowly add powdered sugar until your glaze is thick and glossy. Drizzle over cool cookies.


Melomakarona is one of the most popular treats throughout Greece during the festive season.Their intense homely smell makes every house smell like Christmas! This is an easy, healthy and easy recipe based on olive oil and honey.

Makes: 20-25 cookies

½ cup olive oil (175ml)
½ cup brown sugar (100g)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (120ml)
1 tbs orange zest
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda

2 tbs brandy
4 cups flour (about 450g)
1 cup (120g) chopped walnuts
(½ for the mix ½ for topping)
2 tbs cinnamon (½ for the mix ½ for topping)
½ tsp powder clove (½ for the mix ½ for topping)

For the syrup:
1 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup of water

This is a traditional Christmas cookie recipe. You will find it in every home in Greece at Christmas time.

Mix the flour, baking powder in to a bowl. Mix baking soda into the orange juice. Mix the oil, sugar, orange juice, brandy and orange zest and pour gradually into the flour mixture. Mix all the ingredients gently, without kneading to create a soft dough. Add cinnamon and clove in the mixture.

Make the dough into little cookie balls. Remember that these will rise so keep them small. Put the cookies into a tray covered with greaseproof paper. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Meanwhile make the syrup. Put the honey, sugar and water into a large pot. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes skimming off the froth. Let it cool down a little bit. Take the cookies out of the oven and put them in a large plate. Pour the syrup immediately over them while they are still hot. When all the syrup is absorbed turn them over. Repeat the same procedure a few times until almost all of the syrup is absorbed.

For the topping mix cinnamon, clove and chopped walnuts and sprinkle over the top of the cookies. Let them cool down and store them away. They usually taste better a few days later and as they age. They can last up to 3 weeks.


It sounds quite philosophic, doesn’t it? It’s mostly because we love freshly baked bread and the moment it comes out of the oven, hot and crusty you can’t help but feeling pure bliss. And it is also that feeling -that you accomplished a simple but glorious task- that boosts your confidence.

How can you not love bread? Of course we Greeks have a special affair with it –you can’t really have a meal without it. That’s why we were thrilled when Michael Pollan devoted a whole episode in his brilliant series Cooked, about it. He argues that bread is the product of civilisation and the enabler of the civilisation, as well. But related to the title of the post, he explains that air is mostly what you’re eating when you eat bread.

Have you ever considered that air is one of the reasons we love bread? And as far as this very recipe is concerned, what a fine air that is, with grape molasses, mastiha, orange and cinnamon?

Petimezodakos
Ingredients
1 cup of grape molasses
3 pieces of mastiha
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 kg all-purpose flour (sieved)
30 g of fresh yeast
Olive oil for glazing
1 egg for glazing

Method
Dilute yeast in lukewarm water. As soon as it’s done, add the mix to a small portion of flour in order to create very soft dough. Cover it and let it sit in a warm place in order to double its size.

Freshly ground mastiha using mortar and pestle. When the initial dough is increased add grape molasses, orange juice, olive oil, mastiha, cinnamon and salt. Mix it well until the initial form changes and add flour gradually until a homogenous fluffy dough is created. Cover it once more and let it sit for 40-50 minutes until it’s double the size.

Knead the dough and form loaves cut in 4-5 cm pieces. You can also knead individual loaves –this amount of dough makes about 12 small loaves. Place them in baking pans, let them rise and they’re double the size. Drizzle some olive oil (or an egg and water mixture, alternatively) and let them bake in a preheated oven for approximately an hour about 180°C. Remove from the oven, let them cool and cut the pieces you have already carved –or your individual loaves.

Petimezi makes the dough quite moist, so keep checking your oven so they won’t get dry. If you still have some left from the day before, taste them and see the difference – we felt they tasted less sweet the day before. Liked our thoughts on Michael Pollan’s Cooked? We’ll get back to it, soon as we were quite inspired by this series! Have you watched it? Would love to know your thoughts on that.