Flaounes is a traditional Cyprus cheese-filled pastry uses ground machlepi (a Greek aromatic spice made from the seeds of the St Lucie cherry) in the dough, giving a hint of almond flavour. The “foukos”, (filling) is made with flaouna cheese, haloumi cheese, sultanas and garnished with sesame seeds.
This is one of our best traditional recipes. There is no way Cypriots would imagine the vegan version of “Flaouna” because the original recipe is loaded with eggs and cheese. My aunty said to me, how on earth you will make the “fouko” (filling) without eggs and how is going to taste without cheese?
So we took the original recipe of my great grandmother Chariklou and we adjusted it to a healthier vegan version. We were worried about this, but actually the taste is close to the original. We gave to some friends to taste them and they didn’t realise that there no egg and cheese in the “flaounes”!
You can enjoy “flaounes” for breakfast with tea, coffee or fresh orange juice, as a snack or even as a light meal with salad. Make sure to store your “flaounes” in an air-tight container after they cool down or you can freeze them.
I am not sure what my grandmother Chariklou would say if she was trying them….. but she would definitely enjoyed them with a cup of cyprus coffee!
- 3 cups (500 g) any vegan cheese finely shredded, or (vegan parmesan)
- 3 cups (570 g) whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (up to taste)
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1½ tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon mahlepi
- ⅓ teaspoon mastic
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 cup raisins
- 1½ cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons (ground raw) flaxseeds + 5 tablespoons water
- 1½ kg flour
- 4½ teaspoons yeast
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon mastic
- ½ teaspoon mehlepi
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 cup (250 ml) olive oil
- 3½ - 4 cups (1020 ml - 1200 ml) lukewarm coconut milk
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- Add flaxseed meal and water to a small bowl and stir. Let rest for 5 minutes to thicken. Set aside.
- For the filling, add all dry ingredients in a big mixing bowl, mix well then add wet ingredients and mix until a roughly dough forms.
- Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let it rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
- For the dough, add the 3½ cup warm milk, about the temp of bath water to a big mixing bowl, (Make sure it’s not hot because it will kill the yeast) and coconut sugar. Sprinkle on yeast and let stand for about 10 minutes.
- Add the salt, olive oil, cinnamon, mastic, mahlepi and stir well. Using a wooden spoon, slowly add the flour and mix until a big dough ball forms. You may not add all 3½-4 cups of flour, so add a little at a time. You will need more flour while kneading.
- Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead by hand for 1-2 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Transfer the dough back in the mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for about an hour or until it double the size.
- When the dough has risen, cut the dough in half. Reserve one half to make a bread, pizza or freeze for up to 3 months. Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Cut a piece of dough the size of a small lemon. Roll it into a square approximately 10-15 cm.
- Rinse about 1 cup of sesame seeds. Place the wet sesame seeds in a plate.
- Place the square piece of dough onto the sesame seeds so that one side is covered with sesame seeds.
- Place 2 tablespoons of the "cheese" mixture into the middle of the square.
- Fold all the edges in on themselves, do not cover the filling completely.
- Fold the other sides in the same way. Lightly press the corner edges down with a fork so that they stick together well.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until they turn golden brown.