Honeyed Bliss: Melopita - A Greek Honey Pie Recipe from Sifnos

 Melopita is a traditional Greek dessert that originates from the island of Sifnos. It is a sweet cheesecake made with a few simple ingredients, including fresh soft cheese (often mizithra or ricotta), honey, eggs, and a hint of lemon zest. The name "melopita" is derived from two Greek words: "melo," meaning honey, and "pita," which refers to a type of pie or cake. Thus, melopita is the name of the Greek honey pie.

The history of melopita is closely tied to the island of Sifnos in Greece, where the dessert has its origins. Sifnos is known for its rich culinary traditions, and melopita is one of the island's most famous and beloved sweets. Sifnos produces a wide range of high-quality products such as cereals, oil, wine, legumes, fruits, and cheeses - the most famous are manouri and mizithra and of course excellent quality honey (thyme).

The exact origins of melopita are not well-documented, but it is believed to have been prepared and enjoyed by locals on Sifnos for many generations. The dessert likely evolved over time as a result of the island's agricultural resources and the culinary creativity of its inhabitants.

Sifnos has a long history of cheese-making, and melopita's key ingredient, fresh soft cheese (such as mizithra or ricotta), would have been readily available on the island. Honey, another crucial component of the dessert, has been used as a sweetener in Greek cuisine for millennia, dating back to ancient times when honey was an essential part of the Greek diet and culinary practices.

Over the years, as trade and cultural interactions spread across Greece and the Mediterranean, recipes and culinary traditions were shared and exchanged between regions. It is possible that melopita's popularity on Sifnos may have influenced other regions in Greece to adopt and adapt similar cheesecake-style desserts.

Today, melopita remains a cherished part of Sifnos' culinary heritage and is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. The recipe has likely been passed down through generations, preserving the essence of this delightful Greek dessert. Additionally, with the growth of interest in Greek cuisine worldwide, melopita has gained recognition and can now be found on the menus of some Greek restaurants outside of Greece, further spreading its legacy and delicious flavors to new audiences.

The Sifneiki melopita recipe requires the following ingredients: eggs, mizithra (soft and saltless), honey, cinnamon, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Mizithra or myzithra is a Greek whey cheese or mixed milk-whey cheese from sheep, goats, or both. You can find it either fresh or dried in any Greek food store. Melopita requires soft mizithra. If you cannot find this cheese, you can substitute it with ricotta cheese. 

This homemade melopita recipe comes from the beautiful island of Sifnos, the island of the most notorious Greek cook, Nikos Tselementes. This fact has given the island a culinary culture. As a result, every year at the beginning of September, the Cycladic Gastronomy Festival "Nikolaos Tselementes" runs in Sifnos, where cooks from all over the Cyclades islands and beyond gather and display their traditional recipes and flavors.

This melopita recipe, which serves 6 to 8 people, takes 20 minutes to prepare and one hour to cook.

melopita recipe(Greek honey pie)

Melopita Recipe-  Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 450 g. of fresh and saltless mizithra (or ricotta cheese)
  • 225 g. of honey
  • 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. of butter
  • Cinnamon for sprinkling

Melopita Recipe- How to Make

  • Start this Greek honey pie recipe by preheating the oven to 350ºF.
  • Beat eggs lightly in a large bowl.
  • Add the ricotta cheese, honey, cinnamon, flour, and lemon juice in the bowl.
  • Beat for 3 minutes, or until you get a smooth homogeneous mixture.
  • Rub 1 tbsp. butter into a 9-inch pie pan.
  • Pour in the pan the pie mixture.
  • Place pan on middle oven rack and bake 1 hour, or until the surface of the pie cracks and is puffed.
  • Remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle it with cinnamon.
  • Cool to room temperature before cutting into wedges to serve. 
I hope you like this melopita recipe. The result is a luscious, indulgent cheesecake with a delicate balance of sweetness and tanginess from the cheese and lemon. Melopita is often served as a delightful ending to a Greek meal or enjoyed as a special treat during celebrations and festivals in Greece. If you enjoy recipes from Greek islands, then you should try this lihnarakia recipe from Crete. Enjoy!