by Heather Harris Brady
I had the good fortune to visit Canada recently and one of the things I love most about traveling is trying new foods. Like always I checked the Chowhound boards before we left, and noted a suggestion to try the burek at one of the booths in London Ontario’s Covent Garden Market.
The market is gorgeous, filled with amazing produce, fresh pasta and cheeses. All I wanted to do was buy up everything, go some place and cook. But alas, our hotel room only had a mini-fridge. So I made do with a burek.
If you’ve never had burek it is an Eastern European pastry of filo layers. Hot from the Oven in London sold it filled with cheese, spinach and cheese or apple. After doing a little research I dove into trying my own at home. The burek we had was filled with feta, but it must have been very fresh feta. To get the same texture I combined feta, ricotta and a cottage cheese.
Since store-bought filo is very dry, use a lavish hand with the butter-egg wash as you will see below.
Cheese Burek, Makes five pastries
1/2 package filo/phyllo dough
1/3 c. ricotta cheese
1/3 c. feta cheese
1/3 c. small curd cottage cheese, drained
2 T. water
2 T. butter, melted
Assemble all your ingredients before you begin, keeping the filo well covered. Mix the cheeses in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl beat the egg with the water well, and then beat in the melted butter. Preheat the oven to 375.
Uncover two sheets of filo and dab it all over with the egg wash.
Spoon out a line of cheese near the bottom of the sheet.
Roll the dough over the line of cheese and continue rolling until you get to the end, adding more egg wash as necessary. Now you will have a long, cigarette shaped log with the cheese in middle. Starting at one end, spiral the log around itself so you end up with a snail shape.
Brush the end with more egg wash to seal it and move it to a greased baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining sheets of filo. You should have five finished pastries.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.
You may store leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat them but they’re best fresh.
These savories would be a fantastic cocktail party nibble as they are great with wine. They would also make an interesting brunch side with a nice salad.
To make apple burek, combine 1 c. apple butter with 1 t. cinnamon. Just substitute the apple filling for the cheese in the above recipe, all the other steps are the same.
One year ago: Zucchini Streusel Teacakes