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Captured by The Recipe Hunters in Cyprus

Kaak bi Halib Recipe, milk cookie recipe, Lebanon

Cypriot Squash Pies are a baked pastry filled with a delicious stuffing made of squash, raisons, rice, cinnamon, and sugar! It is super easy to make and great as a dessert or breakfast. We learned this traditional recipe from Süley Ozgen in Lapta, Cyprus. To read more about Süley and her sister or to try another one of her recipes click here.


Prep time: 1 hr + 1 hr bake time


Squash Stuffing:


Peel and de-seed the squash. Cube the squash and add it to a large pot. Next, add the rice, cinnamon, raisins, and sugar to the pumpkin chunks. Place the pot over a medium flame, cover and stir occasionally. Let the ingredients cook down until the pumpkin turns to mush and the rice is fully swollen with the liquid from the pumpkin. At this point, remove the stuffing from heat and let it cool.

Made with Love Note: The rice will cook in the water released from the pumpkin and the ingredients will eventually create the delicious stuffing that we will use to fill the bread.

Bread Dough:

Add the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, cinnamon, milk, and the water to a large mixing bowl. Mix using your hands until you are able to knead. The end consistency of the flour should be sticky and more dry than wet (look at pictures for a good idea). Once you have this consistency, cover the bread dough and leave it in a warm dry place to rise for about 1 hour. Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat your oven to 200°C (390°F), spread a thin layer of flour over a flat working surface, lather your hands with a thin film of olive oil, grab a clementine size piece of dough and place it on the floured surface. Knead it a bit in the flour and then roll it into a smooth elastic ball. Next, using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a thin round disc about 2 mm in width and 8 inches in diameter. Repeat until you have 6 flat rounded discs.

Made with Love Rolling Tip: Using a rolling pin press on the center of the ball and roll the dough up and down a few times on the table. Once the ball flattens, rotate the dough 180 degrees and roll it out again so that an even circular disc forms.


For Bread Dough Recipe:

  • 2.75 cups White Flour

  • .25 cup Milk

  • .75 cup Water

  • 2 tsp Salt

  • 1/4 packet of Active Dry Yeast

  • 2 tsp Sugar

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For Pumpkin Stuffing:

  • 1 handful of rice

  • 1.5 kg of squash or pumpkin (approx. 2 small butternut squash or 1 medium pumpkin)

  • 2 tsp of cinnamon

  • 1 handful of raisins

  • 1 cup of sugar


  • Large Pot for cooking stuffing

  • Rolling pin

  • Cookie sheet

Forming the Pie and Baking:


Add 2 hefty Tbsp of stuffing to the center of the disc, fold one of the halves of the disc over the stuffing. The edge of the half that you fold should not reach the edge of the bottom half, but there should be a gap between the two edges of the disc. Next fold the edge from the bottom half over the edge from the top half, twisting and pinching the two edges together as you go around the crescent of the borek, creating an outer crust. See pictures. Lightly press the dough around the pumpkin filling ensuring that there is no air trapped. If you do see any air bubbles pop them with a pin. Line a baking sheet with olive oil or lay down parchment paper, place the newly formed half moons on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart, and place them in the oven. Immediately lower the oven temperature to 175°C (350°F) and cook for 1 hour or until they golden brown. If you are using a traditional Cypriot oven, cook for 20 minutes. Enjoy your squash börek, Made with Love!!




Cypriot Squash Pie Recipe

Captured by The Recipe Hunters: Leila Elamine & Anthony Morano

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