So you think you tried in your life the best possible food that you have could... but you didn't if you never ate this famous cheese pie, Gibanica. Sometimes I crave this food so much that I feel pain in my stomach. I know it is silly, but that's in my genes... I come from Balkans, phyllo dough in any combination (cheese, meat, potato, etc) is our staple.
I could write all day long about Gibanica... but to make it short, you should know few things about it. To make good Gibanica you have to use high quality cheese and not-too-thin phyllo dough. Unfortunately, in the U.S. it is impossible to find Balkan white cheese and sometimes it is challenging to find thick phyllo dough too (usually you can find only thin one for balkava but try in some ethnic shops).
After many trials I found the best possible recipe for Gibanica with ingredients that you can find in North America. My recipe is related to Maja's (please visit her blog, it it full of interesting stuff). She introduced me to upside-down technique used in Bulgaria to make Gibanica fluffy, not flattened. On her blog you will find nice pictures guiding you through the whole process of making this dish.
Find here recipe for another Cheese pie with phyllo dough.
1 package of thick phyllo dough (if you use thin one Gibanica will still be ok but more like souffle)
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
200g Feta cheese
100g regular sour cream
2 cups Kefir
1 cup Greek yogurt
100 ml canola oil
Preheat the oven to 390F (200C).
In a big bowl mix sifted flour, salt and baking soda. In another bowl crumble Feta cheese with fork and add sour cream and flour and stir everything well. Add Greek yogurt and Kefir, eggs and canola oil, stir until the mixture is smooth.
Unroll the phyllo dough and place it on a work surface. Cut the dough sheets into smaller pieces with sharp knife. Separate them, and fold into the filling mixture by woden spoon. Do not throw all pieces at once, because it is not easy to mix them that way and the filling won't penetrate all phyllo dough pieces. When you stir in all phyllo dough leave it for 5 minutes to settle down. Then pour the mixture in round or rectangle baking pan.
Bake the pie for 45 minutes when the crust is golden brown as it is on pictures. Before you remove the pie from the oven, place upside down the same size four coffee cups on the work surface in position to support the rim of the baking pan.
When the pie is done, remove it immediately from the oven and place it upside down so cups can carry it and leave the pie hanging from above for 20 minutes. No need to say that you have to be very careful when doing this procedure.
Then, turn the baking dish over and serve Gibanica warm.
Since there is Nuttela Day we should consider having Gibanica Day too, don't you think so?