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

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. 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.


This week we’re baking! Because you know, there’s nothing better than a freshly baked cake to accompany your favourite cup of tea or coffee. Especially if the cake in question is made with interesting ingredients! Remember last year’s apple cake? Or the petimezopita? This time we are using pumpkin. You might have guessed it by now that this orange vegetable is our favourite one for this time of the year. You know, this pumpkin soup or the that butternut squash soup  and how about a tart or a risotto?

There is something really unique about this pumpkin cake. It is both comforting and very exciting at the same time. The pumpkin makes it very moist inside, and the plump raisins add extra toffee-like sweetness. This recipe also lays somewhere between autumn and winter. It has the autumn-y pumpkin and the fragrant spices we often associate with winter.

You will need:
700g pumpkin
120ml olive oil
120ml water
70g Corinth raisins
150g flour
100g of brown sugar
5g baking soda
10g baking powder
2tsp cinnamon
6 cloves
½ nutmeg grated
2 generous pinches of salt
5 pinches of grated cardamom

Preheat your oven at 180C.

Peel the pumpkin and remove its seeds. Chop in small pieces. Place your pumpkin pieces in a small pot over medium low heat, until soft. Mash up with a fork. Alternatively, you can cut the pumpkin in half, bake in the oven, and then scoop out its flesh. If you have some lumps remaining in your pumpkin mash it’s fine. Let it cool.

In a bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. In another bowl mix the water with the olive oil, raisins and the pumpkin puree.

Using a wooden spoon stir together the wet and dry ingredients. Be careful not to over mix them. Taste the batter. Are you a fan of cinnamon? Add more. Do you feel you want more cardamom? Go right ahead.

Pour into a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30-40min, until cake is cooked through, yet moist inside.

Now, put the kettle on and get that lovely teapot out of the cupboard.


Many say that Mastiha is an acquired taste. As an ingredient, these little rocks look like blurry diamonds. It is quite bitter in taste and very, very aromatic. So one needs to use it with care. A little goes a long way. You can make cakes with mastiha, cookies, use it in cooking as well (it actually goes very well with chicken).

When discussing recipes for this blog post, we decided to go for cookies. But not any cookies. These ones are made with olive oil instead of butter, grape molasses instead of sugar. And orange juice! I call them cookies because they have a very soft and chewy interior. I think the secret is the combination of olive oil, grape molasses and water. Oh and yes, these cookies are vegan too!

They are quite something. You can play around with the dough and make smaller cookies, or, experiment a bit. Shape the dough like a bagel by taking a large round ball and making a hole. Just make sure to bake the larger cookies a few minutes longer. You can eat them as is, or try them with our soft, creamy galomizithra cheese  and some orange blossom honey. And before you start gathering your ingredients, have a read at the story of mastiha. Somehow, images of mastihohoria, the villages on the island of Chios that produce mastiha from centuries ago give this resinous sap a whole different aroma.

For 45 cookies you will need:

1 cup olive oil 
1 cup grape molasses 
1 cup water
1 orange (both zest and juice)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mastic tear drops (ground)
700g of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda

You can buy mastic tear drops from our shop at Borough Market. These can be ground using a mortar and pestle by adding a few pinches of sugar, so that they don’t stick together. Alternatively you can add 1/4 teaspoon (3-4 drops) of our pure mastic oil. Taste and add more if you want a more intense flavour.

In a bowl, whisk together your olive oil, grape molasses, water, orange juice and zest, until you have a smooth mixture. In a separate bowl sieve the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and mastiha. Mix until well combined until just smooth. Be careful not to over mix the dough.

Slowly incorporate your dry ingredients onto your wet ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon. You should have a slightly sticky dough that you can easily shape. Using a bit of flour, make small round balls, or larger bagel-shaped cookies.

Place some greaseproof paper onto your baking tray and place the cookies on top, leaving a few centimetres between them.

Bake for 10-15min at 180C until they are lightly brown – the centres will be soft. Once your cookies have cooled down a bit, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. You can have them straight away (please do!), or keep them in an airtight container.

 


Have you ever made dough? If you have, you’ll know what we are talking about in this blog post. If you haven’t then let us introduce you to the magical word of putting a few ingredients together and creating something you thought was impossible.

Sure, like most things you can get ready made dough of your choosing from the grocery store. Do you need filo (phyllo) pastry for a spinach pie? The corner shop will have it. Do you need puff pastry for a bulgur pie ? Supermarket is next door.

But then you will be missing half the fun. You see, making dough is much easier than what you think. When we are talking dough, it all comes down to two things: ingredients and recipe. Dough usually has very few ingredients so as we’ve said in the past, make sure they are damn good. Get the good eggs. Get the slightly more expensive flour. Get the best you can afford. Now, when it comes to the recipe. That’s a tricky one. Internet these days is full of recipes. Bookstores are filled with cookery books. How does one choose which recipe to trust? Because we know first hand how horrible it is to put time and love into a recipe and it not giving you that love back. How does one find a recipe they trust? Here at Oliveology if there is one person we trust more than anyone it’s Mrs Kalliopi, Marianna’s mother. Remember her delicious Apple cake? Every week when we discuss future blog posts at Oliveology I nudge Marianna: call your mum, she has great recipes!

This time she shared with us her recipe for Kourou dough. This is a Greek dough that Mrs Kalliopi makes with olive oil and yogurt. The recipe came just as a list of ingredients and only the phrase: “make a soft and fluffy dough. Let it rest for 30min”. But worry not, we’ve deciphered it for you.

In Greece we usually make it into small pastries and fill them with feta and egg. But as you can imagine you can stuff it with whatever you wish: graviera or other hard cheese and bacon, tomatoes and a soft creamy white cheese like galotyri. Or you can even spread it and use it as a base for your pizza. This specific dough can actually stand on its own, so you can even roll it out and cut it in strips.

Ingredients 
500g  flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
230ml (1 cup) of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons (30g) grated graviera cheese
200g greek yogurt
1 egg

Preheat your oven at 180C. Sieve your flour in a bowl and add the salt.

In a separate bowl whisk your egg. Add the olive oil and yogurt and stir until everything is combined. Add the cheese and stir again. Slowly pour your wet ingredients into your flour bowl. Use your hands until everything is combined. Place your dough in a lightly floured surface and kneed for a few minutes until you get (you guessed it) a soft and fluffy dough.

Let it rest for half an hour while you prepare your fillings or topping (if using any). Roll it and either stuff it, use it as a pizza base or cut in strips. Bake at 180C. Your dough will rise a bit, having a delicious slightly flaky texture. When you make it, drop us an email or tweet, Mrs Kalliopi would be thrilled.


Unsalted Kalamata olives are a very interesting ingredient. They are very different than any other Kalamata olives you’re used to eating. The lack of salt makes all other flavours become more intense. What do we mean by that? Imagine an olive with a more fruity olive-y taste. An olive with the acidity of vinegar biting you gently. And that olive paired with mellow Spartan extra virgin olive oil and wild herbs from the Mt. Taygetus. Add to that the fact that they have been hand picked, hand selected, cured in fresh water and they have not been pasteurised. You see where we are going with this?

Unsalted Kalamata olives are a very unique ingredient.

And sure you can enjoy them plain or in salads. But because of their unique flavour they change anything plain to super interesting. They add colour to a white canvas and they do not overpower the dish with added saltiness.

What is the whitest of canvasses for a cook? White bread of course.

So here it is, for this week, a recipe for bread that comes to life with the unsalted olives. Oh and we’ve added some sun dried tomatoes and oregano, too. But we’ll tell you more about the beauty of our sun dried tomatoes and oregano another time.

Makes 1 loaf

500g strong bread flour
1 sachet (7g) of yeast
1 tbs of salt
1-2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
375ml of lukewarm water
1 tbs oregano
50g unsalted olives, finely chopped
50g sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped

Mix the yeast with water and stir gently until it dissolves. Add the olive oil. Mix the salt with the flour on a clean surface. Make a hole in the middle and slowly incorporate the water-yeast, stirring with a fork or with your fingers until all ingredients are combined together. Dust a bowl with flour and place your dough inside. Let it rise for a few hours, until double in size.

Dust a surface with flour and kneed the dough, adding the olives, sun dried tomatoes and oregano, until all ingredients seem to have combined evenly. Don’t kneed too much though. Shape a loaf (shape it as you wish) and let it rise until again doubles in size.

Bake at very hot oven (250oC), by placing your loaf on a pre-heated baking tray. It takes about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven once your bread is golden brown and responds with a hollow noise when you tap its bottom. Wait until it cools down to cut. Or don’t. Hot bread makes right all that’s wrong in the world.


Apple Day is almost here and at Oliveology we always support initiatives that celebrate seasonality. Next to our shop at Borough Market, one can find myriad apples of different sizes, colours and flavours. They are simply too tempting to resist.

And we know exactly what to do with them. Marianna’s mum makes the most delicious and moist cake. She uses extra virgin olive oil instead of butter and uses whatever she has left in the kitchen, be it apples, pumpkin, carrots- nothing goes to waste. One of our favourite things in the world is when hand written old recipes are handed down to us. Today it becomes much easier “take a pic of your mum’s apple cake recipe and send it to me”, and within minutes, you can enter the kitchen and start baking.

Kalliopi’s Olive Oil Cake

1 cup extra virgin olive oil 
3 cups grated (or cut in cubes) apples
2 cups of sugar
2 eggs, preferably organic
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbs baking soda
1 tbs of cinnamon
1 cup almonds or walnuts

Mix together the sugar and olive oil. For this recipe, we go for our  22°C organic extra virgin olive oil, made with semi ripe olives. Its mellow, fruity aroma and silky texture are ideal for this cake. You see, olive oil is one of the main ingredients, yet it should not overpower the rest.

Whisk 2 eggs and then slowly add 2 cups of all purpose flour, the baking soda and cinnamon. Add the grated apples, and if you feel like it, 1 cup of coarsely chopped nuts – we went for almonds. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon and transfer into a baking dish. Bake at 180°C for approximately 35-45 minutes or until cake is golden brown on top and cooked through.

Now, you can serve the cake as is, or preferably with Greek yogurt and a drizzle of our limited edition apple oil.

If you’re in London visit us at Borough market to celebrate the glorious apple season with us on Sunday the 23rd of October.