Mrs Sarantides’s shortbread biscuits

Black & white portrait of lady with dark-rimmed glasses.
Dorothea 'Rose' Sarantides, photographer unknown, c1930s . Courtesy Kay Kallas and George Adaley
Mrs Sarantides' shortbread biscuits are just one of the cherished favourites – made with love over the generations ­– from our book, Eat your history: stories and recipes from Australian kitchens

Rose ‘Dorothea’ Sarantides and three of her children, Irini, Stelios (Stanley) and Andrew, arrived in Australia in 1923.

They were one of many Greek families who had been living in Smyrna (now Izmir) in Turkey, and were forced to flee the country when all non-Turkish people were expelled during a period of political turmoil.

In Sydney they were reunited with Dorothea’s other sons, Emmanuel and Athas (Arthur), who had immigrated to Australia in 1914.

Like most immigrants, the Sarantides brought their food culture with them.

Dorothea lived at 60 Gloucester Street in Susannah Place, The Rocks, between 1936 and 1946. She made traditional Greek-style food at home, including stingray flaps fried in olive oil and ‘rissoles’ or meatballs flavoured with garlic and red wine. Dorothea’s English was poor, but she endeared herself to neighbours, handing gifts of food over the fence. 

The Sarantides kitchen as you see it today at Susannah Place Museum is furnished according to the oral histories of Dorothea Sarantides’s grandchildren, Kay Kallas and her brother George Adaley.

Kay has passed on some of her grandmother’s recipes, including this one for Dorothea’s  Kou-ra-piedes, delicious Greek biscuits enriched with brandy.

 


Recipe: Kou-ra-piedes

Mrs Sarantides' shortbread. Photo Jacqui Newling ©  Sydney Living Museums

Ingredients

  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar (plus extra, to dust)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 400 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • icing sugar, extra, to dust

Method

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the colour begins to deepen. Remove from the heat and add the brandy. Set aside to cool.

Transfer the cooled butter and brandy mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the icing sugar and egg yolk and stir with a wooden spoon until blended through and smooth.

Sift the flour and add it to the butter mixture half a cup at a time, stirring with a wire whisk to prevent lumps forming. Once the mixture thickens, stir it with a wooden spoon until you have a nice soft dough. Knead the dough lightly to form a smooth malleable dough that is not sticky. Allow the dough to rest for an hour before shaping the biscuits.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper. Take a walnut-sized piece of the dough and roll it in your hands to from a ball. Resting it in the palm of one hand, work it into an elongated football shape, roughly 1-1.5 cm thick. Place it onto the baking tray and turn the ends inwards to make a crescent shape and repeat with the rest of the dough.

Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly coloured.

Allow to cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack. When completely cooled, dust with sifted icing sugar. 

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

See the original recipe on the Cook and The Curator blog post.

About the Author

Sydney Living Museums Image
Jacqui Newling
Assistant curator
Creative Services
Jacqui brings over ten years of ‘visitor first’ interpretation experience to her role as a curator at SLM. She specialises in place-based social history and heritage, bringing meaningful stories from our past to contemporary audiences through various forms of media, from exhibitions to interactive opportunities for visitors in our museums. 

Closed until further notice.

 

COVID-19 updateFriday 25 June 2021

In line with decisions made by the NSW Government, Sydney Living Museums will close to the public from Saturday 26 June to Friday 2 July (inclusive) to help protect the health of all visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the state.

Students in historic house setting.

Learning

Learning subsidyTuesday 1 June 2021

From 1 July 2021, we are pleased to offer support to selected students to attend our learning programs.

Woman in stall decorated with colourful bunting.

Events

Cornersmith Cooking School takes up residency at The MintFriday 7 May 2021

Cornersmith Cooking School is bringing its pop-up cooking classes to The Mint.

Elizabeth Bay House

Foundation

Annual Appeal 2021Friday 23 April 2021

To help us continue our important work, we invite you to support Sydney Living Museums through the Annual Appeal 2021.

Elizabeth Bay House Verandah

Membership

Exclusive Member EventsWednesday 21 April 2021

We’re delighted to offer members a selection of special events at Elizabeth Bay House.Members will have exclusive access to view