Greek Orange Phyllo Cake (Portokalopita)
This is a super simple Greek dessert in the σιροπιαστα/siropiasta category of desserts - meaning the ones soaked in some sort of luscious syrup aka my favorite of all the Greek desserts. Portokalopita might sound like Tiropita and Spanakopita because of the ‘pita part that translates into pie and Portokali/πορτοκάλι is orange in greek (spinach is spanaki and cheese is tiri - you get the idea). You might be thinking aren’t all Greek desserts syrup based? The very popular or well known ones might be but definitely not all. This may not be one you have ever had before but is worth trying if you like citrus based desserts. I love citrus based anything and am surprised I have never made this one before. It’s probably the easiest recipe out there.
I made this using the METRO ONLINE GROCERY service. If you are following me on Instagram you would have seen that I frequently use their website to do all my groceries. I love how quick and easy it is to place my order. I even have a few of my staple items saved so that I can just go in and have them on my list right off the bat. If I’m expecting a busy weekend or week or if I have been to the grocery store way too many times for clients in the week and can’t stomach another trip for my own groceries, if there is bad weather and I just don’t feel up to leaving the house, or if I don’t want to brave the stores close to a holiday or a Saturday morning - this is my go to. It’s a reliable service that saves me tons of time, and makes my life a lot easier.
I trust their trained personal shoppers to pick the freshest produce and their tri-zone delivery trucks have 3 zones to keep all your groceries at the temp they need to be on arrival (refrigerated, frozen, room temp). One of the most impressive features and a convenient one is the same day delivery if your order is in before 1pm and also the fact that you get to pick your delivery time slot. I have found that they are always on time too - with a small window so no need to plan a whole afternoon around being home for your delivery. There is a delivery charge of 11.99 which I find totally worth it for me but there is also the pickup option as well which is free available at the two Metro hub stores. It’s a totally reliable service whether you are picking up or getting it delivered and I totally would recommend it to anyone especially with a crazy busy schedule - which seems to be more and more of us these days.
Back to this cake - I thoughtI would let you know a little bit of the background on it. It might seem like an unusual cake as it’s made with dehydrated (stale) crumbled phyllo. Well apparently this recipe came about so that any scarps of phyllo left behind from making savoury ‘pitas was not wasted. The result is the perfect no waste upcycled dessert. I think this cake is good enough to make using a brand new pack of phyllo and obviously so did the rest of Greece - as there are some probably a dozen plus versions of making this cake. This one is my take on Akis Petritzikis recipe. I subbed out a few of the ingredients in his recipe and I also reduced the syrup ingredients as I thought his measurements were a bit too syrupy for my taste. I just loved his method of using two whole oranges in the recipe giving it some intense citrus flavour (this the reason I use and recommend using organic oranges for this recipe)I also loved that he makes his in the food processor or blender to break down the oranges into a paste allowing it to infuse the whole cake beautifully. It’s a wonderful recipe. The cake stays pretty light considering it’s soaked with a citrus syrup. Many serve this with icecream or a citrus spoon sweet but I serve it on its own - it’s sweet enough on its own and just the perfect citrus based dessert!
I have partnered up with Metro Ontario to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
Makes one 9x13 cake or two 9 inch round cakes
For the syrup
- 2½ cups granulated sugar
- 2½ cups water
- Juice of 3 oranges (zest before juicing for the cake)
For the cake
- Zest of three oranges (zest the ones you will use for the syrup)
- 2 organic oranges
- One 454 g package of Irresistibles phyllo pastry dough
- 250 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 250 g (1 cup) olive oil
- 250 g (1 cup) Irresistibles Skyr Icleandic yoghurt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 -2 oranges sliced to decorate (optional)
Remove frozen phyllo from the package and place it on one large baking sheet or 2 medium ones lined with parchment paper.Break it up into pieces and spread it around evenly on the baking sheet. Leave it to dry completely overnight (thawed sheets can be separated and crumpled and let to sit out to dry for a few hours as well) or place in the oven and bake/dehydrate for approx 1 hour at 150-200°F, shaking the pan to redistribute the phyllo a few times. Once dry or dehydrated (allow to cool if you baked it) then use your hands to break it up into small pieces
While the phyllo is drying place two organic oranges in a small sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and then lower the heat and simmer the oranges for 1 hour. (I usually dehydrate the phyllo in the oven while I simmer the oranges). Drain and once cool enough to handle cut in half,squeeze out all the juice and seeds from them, reserving the pulp and skin, placing them in a food processor or blender.
Along with the orange pulp and skin add the zest, the olive oil and the sugar and process/blend them together into a smooth paste. Then add the egg, yoghurt and vanilla, baking powder and soda into the processor and process until fully combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Preheat your oven to 320°F and lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan or two 9 inch cake pans
In the same pot you boiled the oranges in make your syrup. Place the sugar and water in the pot and bring to a boil. Once it comes up to a boil remove from heat and stir to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved, stir in juice from the 3 oranges and set aside to cool completely.
Now fold in the phyllo crumbles to the wet ingredients 1-2 cups at a time until fully incorporated but not over mixing. Then pour into the baking pan and if you wanted to add some thinly sliced oranges decoratively over the batter now is the time then place in a preheated oven and bake until golden and set approx 40-45 minutes. If using two 9 inch pans check doneness at 30-35 minutes
Once done remove from oven and immediately ladle the cool syrup gently over the warm cake. Let it rest for 30 minutes and then slice and serve.