Olive pies with sesame seeds / Ελιοπίτες Ρολά Με Σουσάμι

The pastry for these pies is easy to make, but you can use readymade puff pastry if you prefer. This pastry is very different because it has orange juice in it which is a Cypriot method; it complements the saltiness of the olives. I remember my grandmother eating black olives with fresh orange and bread – try it, it’s delicious!
I recommend you use Kalamata olives, the Rolls-Royce of olives, and pit them yourself as they taste better than the ready pitted ones.
If you are not vegan or fasting, you can brush the pasties with a beaten egg.

Ingredients (makes 6):

For the pastry:
500g plain flour
250g self-raising flour
½ tsp sugar
A pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
150ml olive oil
260ml fresh orange juice

For the filling:
350g (12oz) pitted black olives
2 medium shallots, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 bunch of fresh coriander
4 tbsp of fresh mint chopped or 2 tbsp dried mint
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil + extra for brushing, if you are not using the egg
Sesame seeds
Black sesame seeds

Sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a large bowl, pour in the olive oil and mix together. Slowly add the orange juice, mixing all the time until it comes together – it should be soft, smooth and a little sticky – you may need to add more orange juice. Knead for a few minutes, cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Place shallots, spring onions, olives, olive oil and herbs in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Empty the mixture into a bowl, add the olive oil and season with lots of freshly ground black pepper’ no salt is required as the olives are already salty.
Preheat the oven to 180c / 350f / gas mark 4.
Knead the pastry and shape into a large, thick sausage. Divide into 6 equal pieces and shape each one into a ball. Roll each ball thinly, on a lightly floured board, into a large rectangular shape. Spread some of the filling at the end of the pasty nearest to you and roll the pastry into rolls. Brush with olive oil or with egg, and roll them into the sesame seeds.
Place the rolls on a baking tray lined with baking paper and repeat with the rest of the pastry and filling. Cover and let them rest for 15 minutes.
Bake for 35 minutes or until golden. They are delicious warm or cold at any time of the day.

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