Gibanica, one of the most popular dishes in Serbia, is a Cheese Pie made with phyllo dough. After using same old recipe (and getting great results) for years, I finally decided to experiment and make this traditional pie a bit differently. Instead of laying flat layers of phyllo dough, this time I rolled it into spirals. Original recipe find here.
The pie turned out beautifully, in my opinion even better than the original recipe. Phyllo dough was so crispy and flaky on the top, and I loved soft layers of cheese and dough in the middle. And it was nice for serving too.
I also made two filling variations: one with spinach and the other plain egg-cheese, because my kids do not like spinach. Do what you like, but I prefer cheese-spinach combo, especially in the Spring time. If you like it too, check out another recipe where I use this combination.
12 sheets of phyllo dough, I prefer thicker for savory stuff, left 2 hours on room temperature
1/2 cup Canola oil
1lb Feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup Kefir or Greek yogurt
1 package of frozen spinach (optional), thawed and drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 stick of butter
You need one large or two smaller baking pans
Preheat oven to 400F (205C). Grease the pan with oil.
In a bowl mix beaten eggs, Kefir, crumbled Feta cheese, spinach, salt and pepper.
Open phyllo dough package, unfold sheets and cover them with damp kitchen towel.
Take one phyllo sheet and spread oil over it using pastry brush. Next, add cheese-spinach filling liberally, keeping in mind you need filling for the rest of sheets. Then, start to fold sheet diagonally to get the longest possible roll. Once folded, roll it into spiral shape very carefully and place it on the baking pan. Repeat the same with the rest of phyllo dough.
When you are done with rolling, cut butter into small cubes and place them on the top of spiral rolls. Put the pan into the oven, on the middle rack, and bake rolls for 30 minutes, until they become golden brown. Serve warm.
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