Vassilopita (or St Basil's pie) is a New Year's Day tradition in Greece. The cake is made with a flouri, or coin, baked inside. On New Year's Day (or Eve), families cut into the cake, a piece is sliced for each member of the family by order of age from eldest to youngest and slices are also set aside for the house and other symbolic figures, such as the Lord, St Basil or others depending on local or family tradition. Whoever receives the slice with the coin, it is said, will have good fortune for the year. So grab your Laiik shoes, head to the market, and come make Vassilopita with us.
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 45 mins
Ingredients: 300 grams of room temp butter, 250 grams of powdered sugar, 1 tbs of crystal sugar, 7 grams of Mahleb, 2 grams of Mastic, 1/2 tbs of ground nutmeg, 2 tbs of all-purpose flour, Orange zest from 2 oranges, 2.5 grams of Vanillin powder, 4 eggs at room temp, 75ml of milk full fat, 1tbs of baking powder, powdered sugar for dusting on top.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Mix butter and powdered sugar in a food processor for 2-3 minutes
- Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula, and mix again in the food processor for another 5 minutes.
- In a small blender, mix the crystal sugar, mahleb, mastic and nutmeg, until a becomes a smooth powder with no clumps. Add to the food processor mix.
- Add orange zest and vanillin to the food processor, and mix at a low speed.
- Add the 4 eggs one at a time, making sure that each one is absorbed before adding the next one.
- Remove the bowl from the food processor, and add the milk, gently mixing with a spatula.
- In a bowl, mix the flour and the baking powder, and add to the other mix, gently mixing with a spatula.
- Butter and flour a 25cm diameter pan - make sure to include the sides
- Add the mix to the pan, and spread evenly with a spatula
- Bake for 45 minutes
- When ready, sprinkle with powdered sugar
Traditionally, an aluminum-covered coin is added to the mix. Whoever gets the coin in their portion, will be blessed with a lucky year.