Recipe By: Kiria Andonia, Prahran
I haven't posted any recipes for a while for my "Greek Mama project" but this morning the project commenced again with a very sweet and delicious dessert. It's background is from Anatolia (present day Turkey) and brought over to Greece by the Greeks of Asia Minor. The famous loumoumia...
I don't think that the original recipe has gelatin but like everything we evolve and make things easier.
You can flavour them any way you want but we used mastic and vanilla..Delicious and really, really simple. I noticed the recipe Kiria Antonia had written down is a bit different from how we actually made it. Remember NO Greeks, including myself, follow recipes. Recipes are merely a guide until you perfect the recipe to your tastes..
I live in a street with several Greeks. I feel like I'm in Greece at times. It's great. Kiria Andonia lives at the end of the street and Kiria Irini is our next door neighbour. These ladies have lived in Prahran for about 50 years and are very good friends. This morning Evangeline, armed with her iPad and Sofia figurine, and I walked to Kiria Andonia's house. Kiria Andonia and her husband have set up the garage as their second kitchen. It not only has the traditional cook top and oven but an antique wood fired cooker. Kiria Andonia said that they light that over winter to roast their chesnuts..Love it!! I know where I'll be hanging out in winter. Anyway back to the recipe, both these gorgeous ladies showed me how to make these little cubes of deliciousness..
Yields about 80 pieces
7 cups water
2 kilos sugar
300gr corn flour
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
100gr powdered gelatin
5 mastic drops crushed (add a tablespoon sugar and mastic to mortar and pestle and pound till it becomes a powder)
red food colour (a couple of drops or enough for desired colour)
Bag of icing sugar
Add the water and sugar in a non stick pot and stir. Then add the cornflour and gelatine and vigorously whisk until all lumps are dissolved. Stir until the mixture starts to heat up and then add vanilla, mastic and colour. Stir until the cornflour thickens up the mixture and start to bubble.
|Kiria Andonia's measuring equipment for water. One full turkish coffee jar|
|Kiria Irini stirring the sugar and water|
|In goes the cornflour and gelatin|
|Kiria Andonia's method of crushing the mastic tears|
|The colour has gone in|
|The mixture has thickened and is now bubbling. Ready for the the next step|
Line a rectangle baking tray with grease proof paper and carefully pour the VERY HOT mixture in the tray. Allow to cool and then put in the fridge overnight.
|Line the tray|
|Carefully pour hot mixture into tray|
|Let it cool before placing in the fridge|
Prepare your chopping area. Large marble board was used in this case. Sieve some of the icing sugar on the board (about 1 cm thick) and carefully turnover the tray with the loukoumi on the sugar. Remove the grease proof paper , dust some more icing sugar on top and cut into thick strips, then cut into cubes. Dust with icing sugar ensuring the sweet is completely covered with the sugar. The ensures that the cubes do not stick together. Continue doing this until all pieces have been cut and covered with sieved icing sugar.
|Sift icing sugar onto preparing bench or board|
|After flipping slab of loukoumi onto icing sugar...|
|carefully peel back grease proof paper|
|Sift more icing sugar on top|
|Sift more icing sugar|
|and carefully ensure that each one is covered|
|Evangeline can't help herself..she has her sisters' sweet tooth|
Store in air tight container in cupboard. Dust the bottom of the container with icing sugar, layer the loukoumia, add more icing sugar. If more than one layer place grease proof paper in between the layers. Repeat process.....Or as Kiria Andonia does place in a serving bowl (aka 70's ice cube bowl) The only thing is that every now and then you need to empty the contents, add more icing sugar and mix together before putting back in bowl
Great gifts for your friends..They will be very impressed!