Baked Anari/Ricotta cheese pie

This very simple, delicious and much loved, sweet, Cypriot cheese pie, is made with filo pastry and Anari (Cypriot Ricotta cheese), also known as Myzithra in Greece.
Anaropita is traditionally made with homemade pastry and shaped into a large coil, then syrup is poured all over – my version is much easier and lighter with a dusting of icing sugar and a kiss of cinnamon. I love serving the pie with mixed berries as it cuts the richness of the Anari.

Ingredients (serves 6-8):

For the pastry:
12 sheets of filo pastry
75g unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
500g Anari or Ricotta cheese, drained
300ml double cream
3 eggs
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp rosewater
A 31 x 24 cm oven dish or a round dish

For the topping:
Icing sugar
Ground cinnamon

Make the filling – Place cheese, cream, sugar, eggs, cornflour, vanilla, lemon zest and cinnamon and whisk until smooth and thickened. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 170c / 325f / gas3.
Brush the dish with butter, place one filo sheet at the bottom of the dish, overlapping the rim of the dish, brush with butter, then place another one on top; you need to use half of the pastry (6 sheets), brushing each filo sheet with butter.
Pour in the filling and then bring the overhanging pastry on top of the filling – if you have any filo trimmings, use that too to cover the Anari and then brush with butter.
Take the remaining sheets, one sheet of pastry at a time, brush with butter and scrunch it up. Place on top, repeat with the remaining pastry, make sure all the filling is covered. Brush with more butter on top and place in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until golden.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool and sprinkle with icing sugar and ground cinnamon.
Place in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

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