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Phanouropita 1 (13 ingredients)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, combine:

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup brandy

2 tbs unsalted butter

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups golden raisins

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup honey

1 tbs ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for ten minutes. Allow to cool

Sift into cooled syrup:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda.

Beat vigorously for eight to ten minutes or until batter is smooth and bubbly.

Stir in:

2 tbs grated orange peel

Turn into well greased 7″ fluted pan or 8″ loaf pan.

Sprinkle with 1/2 sesame seeds (optional; skip if you like).

Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup brandy and cool cake in pan.

Phanouropita 2 (13 ingredients)

Adapted by Anna Miriklis-Defteros from ”Our Treasury of Authentic Greek Cooking”

Place in blender:

1 cup oil

1 cup orange juice

1 cup brown sugar

1 tbls honey

30 ml brandy

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/3 to 1/2 tsp ground masticha

Pinch salt

Mix then add

2 heaped tablespoons of sifted SR Flour, mix and add the remaining 4 cups of SR flour, gradually, mixing well between each addition.

Add ½ cups sultanas, and ½ cup walnuts if desired.

Place in greased cake tin, top with sesame seeds

Bake in a Moderate oven for about 45 minutes.

Optional: Take the cake to church to have blessed, and share.

It is that time of year! It is winter, end of financial year, time to prepare newsletters, exams, family commitments, etc, etc. Stress, stress and more stress, no wonder items of value or of importance are lost or misplaced, relationship are neglected or sort, directions required and illness need to be cured.

Well there is a solution and one that involves my favourite pass time, cake baking!

The cake that holds the power to cure all the above is the “Phanouropita”.

The “Phanouropita” is a symbolic cake offered to St Phanourios, the Revealer. Little is known about St Phanourios, however he is documented in the book, “Lives of Saints”. One account mentions that St Phanourios was Miracle-worker on Rhodes. In his icon, St Phanourios holds a candle, which is said to cast light on that which is sort, spiritual or otherwise. Thus the cake is baked to find that which is lost or sort by the baker. The cake is not a Holy Tradition but the most faithful of followers take their cake to church to be blessed before cutting and eating.

It is said that the cake must be made of 9 or 11 ingredients and must include flour, sugar, cinnamon and oil. However, it appears from the recipes I read, they all have a odd number of ingredients

The Feast day of St Phanourios is August 27.

Happy baking and I hope you find that which you seek!

Kali Orexi, Evelyn Salvaris