A traditional Greek dessert from the Peloponese, diples are light and airy fried dough dipped in honey. Courtesy of Mia Kouppa.
6 cups sifted, all-purpose flour
10 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup (60 mL) ouzo
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup (250 mL) honey
1/4 cup (60 mL) water
1/2 cup (80 grams) crushed almonds
1/2 cup (70 grams) crushed walnuts
In a large bowl combine five cups of the sifted flour with the eggs and the ouzo. Knead the mixture well by hand and then slowly add the last cup of sifted flour. Your dough will be soft but not sticky; it should be easy to handle. Let your dough rest, covered loosely with a clean cloth, for 15 minutes.
Using a pasta machine set at the flat setting (as you would use if you were making a flat sheet of pasta), start passing your dough, a portion at a time, through the pasta machine. You will need to pass it through the machine in several steps, each time, bringing the rollers closer and closer together until you get the thinnest dough possible. You should end up with a dough that is so thin that you can see through it.
Lay your sheet of dough flat on a clean cloth dusted with a tiny bit of flour (to prevent sticking) and use a sharp knife to cut out rectangular pieces of dough. Each piece should be about six inches by eight inches. It does not have to be exact, and these measurements will depend upon the actual width of your pasta machine. The important thing is to have pieces of dough that are rectangular so that the long ends can be folded over one another to create the diples shape pictured.
When you have several rectangular pieces of dough ready it is time to heat up your oil. Take a large frying pan and fill it halfway with vegetable oil. Heat the oil over medium heat and then, one piece of dough at a time, start frying.
Carefully place one flat piece of dough into the hot oil. It will start to cook immediately, and you must quickly create your diple shape while the dough is frying. The easiest way to do this is to use two forks; hold one of your forks on the surface of the dough, and use the other fork to start creating a roll. Work quickly as the total frying time for each dipla is between 25 to 30 seconds. Your diples should be a very light golden colour, with no brown at all.
As your diples are fried, place them almost upright in a large paper towel-lined colander. Repeat until you have rolled out all of your dough and fried all of your diples.
Once your diples are fried, it is time to coat them in honey. Please note that the number of ingredients listed above will not honey-coat all of your diples. You might not necessarily want to honey coat all 75 diples at one time. The quantity of honey listed will coat between 20 to 25 diples.
In a saucepot large enough to fit one diple at a time add the honey and the water. Cook over medium heat until it foams up a bit. Reduce heat and with a spoon carefully remove the foam and discard.
Taking one diple at a time hold it over the warm pot of honey and using a spoon coat the diple with the honey, ensure that the outside and the inside of the diples have honey poured over them. Set aside and while still warm sprinkle with about one teaspoon of crushed almond and walnut, or to taste. Repeat until you have used up all of the honey.
Diples can be kept at room temperature for a few days, covered loosely with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Do not cover them while they are still warm or they will become soggy.
You can also keep diples in the refrigerator for several weeks. Enjoy!