Who has already enjoyed a good slice of milopita (mηλόπιτα)? In Greece, people are fond of desserts and more particularly of this traditional local apple pie. Milopita is halfway between an apple tart and apple pie. If you are a fan of apple pies, this one should please you!
What is milopita?
Milopita is a cake that can be prepared quickly but also a cake that gets eaten quickly. Its particularity is based on a preparation based on melted butter and brown sugar that is poured on the apples just before baking the cake.
Milopita usually contains eggs, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, apples and butter. Some perfume it with a little Greek liquor, usually ouzo, rum or Cognac. Milopita is not a very high cake, hence its comparison with apple tart. It is soft, and apples are very present.
The milopita goes perfectly with a little Greek yogurt. Did you know that in Greece, it is common to enjoy a slice of milopita at breakfast? There is no time to enjoy a delicious apple cake.
What is the origin of milopita?
No one can say with certainty the origin of the milopita. The term milopita, which is written mηλόπιτα in Greek, means “apple cake”. Etymologically, pita means cake. You will therefore find a variety of pastries that will end with this suffix, such as the fanouropita (a cake with spices and nuts prepared to celebrate Saint Fanouros), the vasilopita (the traditional Greek yogurt cake that is prepared for New Year’s Day) or the karydopita (the traditional Greek nut cake soaked in syrup).
Apple pies, tarts and cakes around the world
In the United States, apple pie is an official emblem of the state of Vermont. It is served warm or cold with a good slice of cheddar cheese.
In France, there is a multitude of apple tarts. The Norman tart is an apple tart whose filling consists of cream, eggs and sugar: it is flavored with Calvados (apple liquor), and then thin slices of apples are placed on this filling before baking.
Another variation of apple tart and just as delicious is the famous tarte Tatin. It is an apple tart that is baked upside down where the apples are caramelized and the dough bakes on top.
In the Limousin, the original clafoutis recipe consists of cherries and a flan mixture. When people replace cherries with other fruits, such as apples for example, it is not called an apple clafoutis but a flognarde. The flognarde originates from the Limousin and Périgord regions in France.
In Gascony, they make the tourtière, also known as pastis Gascon. The tourtière is generally a savory pie in other regions of France but it is served as a dessert in Gascony. It is an apple cake that is covered on the top with the remaining dough that is stretched finely before being basted with melted butter. This dough stretched over the apple cake was inspired by baklava. It is so thin that you should absolutely see through it.
In Austria, the traditional apple cake is called apfelstrudel. This cake is also popular in Germany, Switzerland or in the north-east of Italy. It is a cake that consists of a thin dough and stuffed with large apple pieces, crushed nuts, and raisins.
In the United Kingdom, apple crumble consists of a layer of apples covered with a sweet dough that is crumbled into coarse grains. The crumble was created during the Second World War, following food rationing, because the traditional apple pie required too much flour, butter and sugar.
In the United States, people enjoy the traditional apple pie. But this apple pie is native to the UK. It consists of two layers of shortbread dough, with an apple filling, that is previously baked over low heat in butter and sugar. You need to make a hole in the middle of the dough to let the steam escape during baking.
We hope you will enjoy this cake. Feel free to try our other traditional Greek desserts!
- 1 lb apples (3 or 4 apples)
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 13 tablespoons soft butter (4 tablespoons + 9 tablespoons)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter (for the mold)
- 1 tablespoon flour (for the mold)
- Preheat the oven to 320 F.
- Thinly slice the peeled and seeded apples.
- Immediately drizzle lemon juice and mix to coat all the apple slices.
- In a non-stick pan, add the 4 tablespoons of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and heat over medium-low heat to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff.
- Beat the egg yolks with the 9 tablespoons of soft butter, lemon zest and vanilla.
- Beat until foamy.
- Add the flour and the milk gradually.
- Gently fold the whites, half of them at a time.
- Pour the dough into a 10-inch diameter round cake pan with a high edge, previously buttered and floured.
- Drain the apples.
- Arrange them harmoniously on the dough by pressing them slightly.
- Pour the reserved melted butter on the apples.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Sprinkle icing sugar on the lukewarm milopita.