Cheese Burek

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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
1 egg
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.

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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.

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Spoon out a line of cheese near the bottom of the sheet.

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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.

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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.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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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

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. I love these! I am going to make them. So happy your posted it.

    1. empwriter says:

      Thanks – let me know how it goes!

  2. oiyoufood says:

    Gosh I would have love to see a photo of one of them in half! Now I have to make them I guess 😉 They look amazing!

    1. empwriter says:

      Sorry about that – they got eaten 🙂 If they’re warm the cheese is nice and soft but not runny. If they’re cold it sets up and is more firm. They’re really best hot from the oven. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Alice says:

    I had these in Croatia recently, and absolutely loved them, especially the sausage meat ones. I’m definitely going to try making these.

    1. empwriter says:

      Thanks! Do you have any details on the fillings you saw there? I would love more info!

      1. Alice says:

        We had cheese and spinach ones, cheese ones and meat ones.The meat ones tasted similar to a sausage roll, but with filo pastry. I’d say it was a mix of pork and beef mince with maybe an egg keeping it all together, along with a few delicious spices, but I couldn’t tell you which ones. They were so good!

      2. empwriter says:

        Yum, I might have to try making a few of those over the holidays for appetizers!

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