Katoumari is the “Queen of all Kazzie Sweets”! It’s a most revered celebration sweet, from the island of Kastellorizo, that is made for special occasions such as weddings, engagements and christenings – celebrations that are called Chares (‘Joys’) in Greek.
Warm, flakey, butter-laden layers of pan-fried fillo pastry are sprinkled generously with sugar and ground cloves and are served to celebrate “Chares” in Kastellorizo and across the globe by the Kazzie diaspora.
Wonderful Ros Kazacos expertly takes us step by step through the process of making this sweet. Watch the full video on YouTube and make this decadent and delicious Kazzie sweet now to celebrate life!!!
Katoumari is warm, flakey, butter-laden layers of pan-fried fillo pastry that are sprinkled generously with sugar and ground cloves. It is made to celebrate joyful occasions, such as weddings, engagements and christenings, in Kastellorizo and across the globe, by the Kazzie diaspora.
• 500 g plain flour
• 1 ¼ - 1 ½ cups warm water
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• ½ tsp vinegar
• 400 g butter, unsalted
• Ground cloves
Preparing the dough
o Combine the flour, olive oil and vinegar – it will have the texture of oily, clumpy flour
o Add one cup of warm water and combine it with the flour mixture. At this stage, there will be unincorporated flour. Add about 1/8 cup of water at a time to the bowl and mix it in well. Once all the flour is incorporated into the dough stop adding water – generally you will use about 1 ¼ cups to 1 1/3 cups of water in total
o Turn your dough onto your work surface and knead it for 5-10 minutes
o Place the dough in a bowl, cover it with a clean damp towel (wet the towel completely and wring it out) and leave it to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour (2 hours is better and 3-4 hours is even better)
Preparing the katoumari
o Melt 130g of the butter and leave it to cool
o Divide the dough into 2 equal balls and set one aside beneath the damp towel
o Using a rolling pin, roll out the other ball of dough on a well-floured work surface till a 40cm disc forms
o Continue to dust the fillo sheet and your work surface with flour to ensure the fillo does not stick to your rolling pin or your work surface
o Then using your fists and forearms gently raise the disc and carefully move it around in a circular movement - the disc should get bigger and bigger and bigger
o You can also leave the fillo sheet on your work surface and gently lift the fillo with your hand and draw the fillo out with your hand and lay it back down again – continue to do this moving around the entire perimeter of the fillo sheet
o If a hole forms do not fret, keep going
o Stretch it till it is approximately 80cm in diameter
o Baste the fillo sheet with the cooled melted butter, ensuring the entire sheet is covered – you will use approximately 2/3 of your melted butter
o Then create a hole in the centre of the fillo sheet and from this central hole roll the fillo on to itself in an outwards direction, until you achieve one large, completely rolled fillo rope
o Cut the rope at one point
o Then using your two hands, alternating one if front of the other, hold on to the rope and gently squish the entire length of the rope
o Take the cut ends of the rope and create 2 loose coils of the same size, that are attached at the base
o Baste both of the coils with more butter and then lift, twist and place one of the coils on top of the other
o Take your maksoksilo / plastri / rolling pin again and roll out the layered coils – you will see luscious layers of fillo oozing butter
o Keep going until you achieve a large disc – approximately 25-30cm – that fits nicely into your fry pan and cook evenly in the pan
o At this stage you can, vacuum pack and freeze your katoumari and then, without defrosting it, fry it to golden perfection
o Melt 30g of butter on low-medium heat in a fry pan before using a dough scraper to transfer the katoumari to the fry pan – you may need to briefly raise the heat on the pan to bring the pan to the right temperature.
o Cook the katoumari for approximately 15 minutes on both sides, on low-medium to medium heat to achieve a toasty, crunchy exterior and soft, fluffy interior
o Move your pan around your element to ensure the entire katoumari surface browns evenly
o When the katoumari is golden and crispy on both sides, transfer it onto baking paper and sprinkle it lightly with water – you will hear a little sizzle
o Then using the baking paper fold the katoumari in onto itself to reveal all its layers – you can use your hands to do this too
o Sprinkle it generously with sugar and ground cloves
Serving the katoumari
o Enjoy it warm! Kali Orexi kai Xronia Polla!!!!
o Repeat this entire process with the other ball of dough!