So many things bind people together…our history and traditions…
Traveling to Constantinople, I have the distinct feeling that the tastes, aromas and colors of the city follow me wherever I go, having become one with my senses…
This is a very special recipe for simple triangle cheese pies that was generously shared with me in Turkey…the yufka pastry is where all the magic lies, so make sure you get it right…find some good nigella seeds to decorate these small bites with their dark goodness and if there is one thing you must do is freeze the borek pies before you put them straight in the oven.
Turkish ‘Borek” cheese pies
4 Fresh ‘Yufka’ round sheets pastry*
200 g yoghurt
100 g butter, softened
100 g sunflower oil approximately
150 g Feta cheese approximately
150 g Gruyere cheese approximately
150 g Kaseri cheese 2 egg whites 1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
1. For the yoghurt/butter/oil mixture: In one bowl add the yoghurt, butter, and oil. Mix well.
2. For the cheese/egg white mixture: In another bowl mix together the Feta, Gruyere and Kaseri cheeses; to the 3 cheeses mix in the egg whites (Note: Keep 1 egg yolk in the refrigerator for later use).
3.Lay a single sheet of yufka out on a large clean surface. Spread half of the yoghurt/butter/oil mixture over it. (keep rest for the other 2 sheets)
Place another yufka sheet over the first (upon which the yoghurt/butter/oil mixture has been spread).
4.Cut the filo sheets into a cross and then cut into 4 cm wide strips (1½ inches).
5.Wrap the cheese/egg white mixture (about a teaspoon full) in a strip of filo.
6.Continue until all of the yufka and/or all of the cheese/egg white mixture is used.
7.Freeze the cheese pies. (Note: They must be cooked directly from the freezer.)
8.After the cheese pies are totally frozen, preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Brush the tops of the frozen little pies with egg yolk and sprinkle with nigella (kalonji) seeds (sometimes called erroneously black cumin).
9.Bake for approximately 15 minutes (actual baking time depends on the oven so keep an eye on the cheese puffs so they don’t burn. They should turn a soft and golden color).