Daktyla kyrion (meaning ladies fingers) is one of the most known Cypriot pastry desserts and a speciality offered during the pre-lenten periodu00c2u00a0 called «Sikoses» in Cyprus. u00c2u00a0 Pounded almonds are mixed with cinnamon, sugar and blossom water and the filling is wrapped in thin phyllo.u00c2u00a0 It is then fried and bathed in an aromatic syrup with blossom water.
The word «sikoses» mentioned above, derives from the verb u00cfu0083u00ceu00b7u00ceu00bau00cfu008eu00ceu00bdu00cfu0089 = sikono, meaning lifting.u00c2u00a0 Sikoses is the ten day period before lent when the lifting of all the meat takes place before Easter.u00c2u00a0 As most of the Cypriot traditional recipes these were made with simple ingredients which the housewives had at home everyday. u00c2u00a0 A very old recipe with few ingredients but so delicious.
Making daktyla used to be quite a difficult job, having to roll out the doughu00c2u00a0 into very thin phyllo but nowadaysu00c2u00a0 it is much easier ifu00c2u00a0 using a pasta machine, although the procedure is time consuming as it takes some time to make them.
My mother at the age of 55
I remember my mother would make them quite often and she used to roll out the phyllo the traditional way, by hand.u00c2u00a0 She always needed some help and she would call me to help, as by the time I was 10 -12 years oldu00c2u00a0 shes was about 55 years old and suffered from rheumatisms.u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 The remaining five siblins were either married or lived abroad.u00c2u00a0 The youngest of them all was my brother and he was seven years older than I and my first sister wasu00c2u00a0 seventeen years older than me, so I was the only one left to help her.
At the beginning she would tell me to press the edges with a fork and gradually year by year I helped her even more and would even roll out the phyllo, until I got married and then bought a pasta machine, which made things much easier.
The recipe is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!
The Almond stuffed pastries called Daktyla are my entry for Let’s go Nuts with Almonds, hosted by JZ, of Tasty Treats.
I am also sending this recipe to In My Box, hosting this month’s Sugar High Fridays #53, created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess.