I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

May 16, 2011

Karydopita Nistisimi (p. 458)

This strangely named recipe is a Lenten Walnut Cake from Greece, which is topped with an apricot sauce, and smells pretty delicious, both while baking and also when topped with the heated fruits.

That said, the recipe didn't come together quite as I had expected. The first step was easy enough -- I made a sort of caramelized syrup from sugar, honey, water, and fresh lemon juice. Heat this over the stove until it has condensed into a thick syrup, and then stick it in the refrigerator to chill until the rest of the cake is prepared.

The cake itself proved less easy; I combined the traditional cake ingredients -- flour, sugar, and baking powder, and added in cinnamon and cloves. Since this is a lenten recipe, it doesn't have eggs, so instead a combination of olive oil, orange juice, and brandy mixed with baking soda make up for the liquid ingredients.

Next in are chopped walnuts, bread crumbs, and orange zest (actually I used clementine zest -- that counts, right?), and then pour the batter into a spring form pan.

There was nowhere near enough batter to fill the pan to a normal level -- I only had about an inch of batter at the bottom of the pan.

I cooked it for about half the time the recipe called for -- 30 minutes -- and it was definitely ready to be taken out by then. My syrup hadn't really chilled in that amount of time, so I couldn't really pour it over the cake. I scraped it out of the bowl and onto the cake in a sort of unkempt fashion.

The apricot topping is just apricot jam melted over the stove with a little bit of water, and then poured over the entire cake.

This is delicious, but also incredibly difficult to eat. The layer of syrup underneath the apricot made a sticky hard mess that is difficult to cut and gets stuck in your teeth. Delicious, yes, but next time I might leave that layer out.

lemon -- $.69
walnuts -- $2.97
apricot jelly -- $3.50
Total Cost of Karydopita Nistisimi: $7.17
($.90 per serving)


  1. Everytime I have had Karydopita, the syrup consistency is the same as that for my baklava and galatoboureko recipes, which is not carmelized. It should soak into the cake to add sweetness and moisture. When cooling my syrup down in a hurry, I always put it in a metal bowl and then into an ice bath. I'm so impressed by your ability to cook after a day at the library!:) I hope all is well!

  2. I'll have to keep that ice bath in mind! I think that definitely would have helped...


Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.