Turkish “Borek” Cheese Pies

Shared heritage

So many things bind people together…our history and tradition reminds us that we are all made from the same ingredients, and the kitchen is the place where everything comes together to make perfect sense of our ancestry…

Traveling to Constantinople yet and again, 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.

Sharing this recipe with you makes me, in turn, feel like a link to a chain that binds us all together, passing on flavors and tradition from one to another…

Sandra Choremi_Turkish Borek Pies

Turkish ‘Borek” cheese pies

 Ingredients:

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

100 g butter, softened

100 g sunflower oil

150 g Feta cheese, grated (approximately)

150 g Gruyere cheese, grated (approximately) 150 g Feta cheese, grated (approximately) grated (approximately)

150 g Kaseri cheese, grated (approximately)

2 egg whites

1 egg yolk

Method:

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).

Sandra Choremi_Turkish Borek Pies
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