Cheese Muffins – “Haloumopita” Reinvented | AΦRODITE's KITCHEN | A Cyprus Food Blog

cheese muffins cyprus recipe afrodite's kitchen

I only have a few days before I am heading back to Cyprus. As per usual, the time in Canada has again flown by and I feel as though I have just arrived. The last week before I travel consists of the usual errands and pigging out on foods that I can’t find back in Cyprus. (This is where I reveal to you my weakness for Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfaits.)

cheese muffins cyprus recipe afrodite's kitchen

Anyway, one of the foods I love to enjoy at home are my mom’s cheese muffins. The funny thing is that my mom started making these muffins because she couldn’t find the Cypriot ingredients she needed to make them with in Canada. In Cyprus there is a cake called “haloumopita”.  It is a basically a savoury cake made with a type of Cypriot goat/sheep cheese called halloumi, and mint. When Cypriots first immigrated in Canada in the 1950s and 1960s, it was pretty impossible to find things like “halloumi” (a Cypriot cheese) in Canada. Your options were to either to illegally bring these foods yourself into the country (not such a good option unless you had a particular desire to be accosted by Canadian customs) or to modify these recipes and use local ingredients. So my mom and her friends had no choice but to start experimenting with these traditional Cypriot recipes.

cheese muffins cyprus recipe afrodite's kitchen

And some of these recipes are so good, they can easily hold their ground against the originals. Like these cheese muffins. The only difference is the absence of halloumi, but the presence of parmesan, pecorino romano and feta provide a savoury punch that is more complex than your traditional “haloumopita”. They make an ideal breakfast companion. Or – in my case – a great do-it-yourself plane food.

cheese muffins cyprus recipe afrodite's kitchen

I am looking forward to going back to Cyprus. I am looking forward to seeing my boyfriend and my pug. I am also looking forward to enjoying some of the fruits and vegetables currently in season.  But it is always a bitter-sweet departure. I will miss my family and friends here. I’ll miss the Peanut Buster Parfaits. I’ll even miss my family’s crazy parrot (it’s nickname is T-Rex, I say no more). But at least I’ll have some cheese muffins to remind me of home.

cheese muffins cyprus recipe afrodite's kitchen

akstampLevel of Difficulty: 1/5
Preparation Time: about 1 hour
Cooking Time: about 20 minutes
Makes about 18 medium sized muffins

ingredients

6 eggs
1 cup buttermilk*
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup pecorino romano
1 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan
1 tbs dried mint
2 & 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
2 tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

*In Cyprus, I can not find buttermilk. You can use milk. Or create your own buttermilk by mixing 1 cup of milk with 2 tbs of regular yogurt (you will only need 1 cup of this mixture).

recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 204C.cheese muffins cyprus recipe afrodite's kitchen

2. Beat the eggs just to break them apart with a mixer, about 1 minute.

3. While continuing to mix add oil and buttermilk. Stop the mixer.

4. Combine the dry ingredients together.

5. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture with a spatula until combined. Do not overmix.

6. Put into muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm. You can also freeze them, or if they have been sitting out for a few days, heat them in the microwave or oven to make them soft again on the inside.

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2 Comments

  1. this recipe sounds delicious but you don’t say how many eggs to use…..can’t wait to go to cyprus in may to visit my dear friends…..I live in Qatar in the arabian gulf and can get halloumi cheese easily…..best regards marie

    • afroditeskitchen

      Thanks Marie! Nice to meet you and thank you for telling me! Eek – silly me, I have updated the recipe above to add in the 6 eggs! That’s great that they have halloumi in Qatar – whenever I visit Victoria, BC, Canada, I always struggle to find it! If you visit Cyprus and have friends here there is no doubt you will have an amazing visit – I still feel in Cyprus that there are a few places that only locals know about! Enjoy the recipe – if you will be making the traditional “haloumopita” bread with it, I think it should turn out well if you grate the halloumi and substitute it for the cheeses!

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