F a n o u r o p i t a.... A Cake For Saint Fanourios Day On August 27

Saint Fanourios day was three days ago. My wife and I baked it today August 30, because it is our wedding anniversary. 30 years my friends. It takes lots of patience, and hard work to keep it going well.

Saint Fanourios' icon was found on the island of Rhodes, in Greece around the 14th century A.D.  He was depicted wearing a soldier's uniform and legend says that he was the protector of lost persons, animals and things. Legend also says that he helps un-married girls find the man they will marry.  Every year he is commemorated on August 27th. Greek Orthodox custom has it that most housewives bake a cake in his memory on August 26th. Once the cake is baked, cooled and cut in 40 pieces, it is taken to the church on August 27th where it is blessed by the priest. The 40 pieces are distributed amongst the church, neighbors, relatives and friends.

This cake was originally made with 9, ingredients pertaining to lent reason being that his name has 9 letters. F-a-n-o-u-r-i-o-s = 9. Nowadays you can use 7-9-11-or even 13 ingredients as long as they are odd numbered and still pertaining to lent. It is therefore 100 % vegetarian meaning that there is no milk, no butter and no eggs.  Is very good with coffee, for breakfast or just a snack.

The use of sesame and yeast is typical to the Byzantine way of making this cake. My mother-in-law Loula used this recipe and handed it over to my wife M.
To make this cake you will need:
Serves 40.
-  1 kg of all purpose flour.
-  1½ cups caster sugar.
-  1 cup olive oil.
-  200 gr. black currents.
-  90 gr of fresh yeast.
-  200 gr. wall nuts.
-  3 cups orange juice.
-  1 cup sesame seed slightly toasted in a pan.
-  4 Tbsp. cinnamon.
-  An oven proof dish  34 x 24 x 6.5cm  or 36 x 30 x 6 cm
-  Combine the black currants and 3cups orange juice and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, and let the currantsswell.
-  Sift flour in a big bowl and make a hole in the middle.
For the yeast:
  • Crush the yeast with a fork in a small bowl.
  • Add ½ tsp. sugar, and 1 cup of warm water.
  • Mix with wooden spoon till all the yeast has dissolved.
  • Add to hole in flour.
-  Work the yeast with the flour until both are combined.-  Add the cinnamon to the mixture.
-  Add the oil.
-  Add the sugar..
-  Add the black currants with the juice.
-  Mix well by hand or by the "K" attachment of your mixer.

-  Spread on an oven proof paper lined oven dish.
-  Let stand for 2 - 2½ hours until doubles in volume.
-  Sprinkle with sesame seed.

-  Bake in a preheated oven to 180 degrees C on the lower part of the oven for an hour.
-  Turn off oven, check for donenness and leave in oven with the door half opened to cool.
-  Cut into 40 pieces.

-  If you don't go to Church to bless by the priest, make a strong and deep wish yourself take the first bite and distribute to your loved ones and neighbors.

Good bless you all,


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