Fresh anthotyros is often called the Greek cream cheese because of its texture and taste, although it is more granular in texture than regular cream cheese. It is traditionally used as a table or dessert cheese and as an ingredient in stuffed pies (pitas). It goes well with fruits such as figs, pears, and apples.
Anthotyros or myzithra is made from sheep’s and/or goat’s whey with the addition of milk after making other types of cheese and we usually eat it for breakfast with honey and fruit or use it in many of our sweet and savory pies. in savoury dishes with oil, tomato and wild herbs and it is also ideal for pasta dishes. This cheese has been made for centuries. Its name literally means”flower cheese”. The word “anthos” means flower but it is used metaphorically to describe the elite or the most distinguished part of something.
I have seen anthotyro compared to ricotta cheese but it resembles only in the appearance and not in the taste. I find anthotyro much more tasty and creamy and even in Greece some anthotyro taste better than other. The only one I have found which is similar to the Cypriot one which is called “anari” is a brand of Cretan Anthotyro.
I was so happy to find this brand in the supermarket that I bought 3 packages. I wanted to make something really original with it and I decided to try it with figs.
I just followed a muffin recipe I have made in the past but I really wanted to make something which should be really called a Greek muffin and for flavour I added mastic resin, which proved to be excellent in the flavour and of course pecans are my favourites, so I could not resist to add some as well.
The ingredients for this recipe is for 12 muffins but instead of making it all in muffin tins I made only six and the remaining I baked it in a tart pan.
Greek Anthotyros and Figs Muffins
150 grams of butter
150 grams of sugar
250 grams of self raising flour
250 grams of anthotyro cheese
150 grams of toasted pecans
500 grams of fresh figs, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon of ground mastic resin (pounded with 1 teaspoon sugar)
Beat the butter with the sugar in the mixer at full speed for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
Lower speed to minimum and add an egg at a time until incorporated.
Add cheese, pecans and mastic resin. Finally add flour and mix with the spatula.
Empty batter in greased muffin tins or lined with parchment paper, spring form baking tin and decorate with figs.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degreesC for about 35 minutes for the muffins and 1 hour for the cake or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
I am entering this recipe to the 11th Edition of Muffin Monday, hosted by Dominique, at Cuisine Plurielle who was the winner of last month’s Muffin Monday. Dominique chose as a theme “In the colours and flavour of Autumn”.
As this is another of my concoctions I am also sending it over to Lore, of Culinarty, for her Event Original Recipes.
If you liked this recipe, you may also like:
Sweet cream cheese pie
Moustokouloura with anthotyro
Say cheese or better halloumi (how to make anthotyros)
Ntakos or Koukouvagia
Bourekia with anari (anthotyros)
Lasagna with ground turkey and vegetables