Banitsa…баница

A popular cheese and egg pie this is definitely the Bulgarian alternative to the quiche we are so familiar with. Full of flavour and great for sharing this dish is perfect for any meal of the day.

Quick and easy to make there is no mystery to why this dish is a favourite in Bulgaria. The Banitsa is one of the most adaptable recipes I know and can be adopted for many different tastes, so give it a go and you’ll see how incredibly simple this recipe is.

Prep Time: 20mins
Cook Time: 40mins
Resting/Cooling Time: 15mins
Serves: 10 to 12 People

Ingredients

250g Filo Pastry sheets (shop bought is fine 1 pack)
5 Eggs
300g Feta Cheese (Bulgarian Sirene if you can find)
200g Natural Yogurt, allow some for serving as well optional
100ml Sunflower oil, allow some for greasing as well
40ml Soda water (tap water is fine)
150g Spinach (optional)
3 Tbsp Butter (for cooking filling and drizzling)

Method

1. Start by Preheating your oven to 200 C/ 180 C fan. Lightly grease a 10 inch flan tin or use a frying pan suitable for the oven, grease with oil or butter your choosing. Butter will make the Banitsa very rich in flavour but will have great base.

2. Crack all your eggs into a good sized sized bowl and beat them lightly, then begin Crumbling the cheese into onto the top of the mix, also add the yogurt, oil and water and combine well.

3. Cook your chosen filling in a frying pan with a nob of butter, I used spinach and that took about 5 minutes or so. You can use any filling here just cook it so its not raw. After cooking your filling chop roughly and add to the egg cheese mix. Add seasoning as well and mix here.

4. Unroll your Filo pastry, and working with one sheet at a time drizzle three or four table spoons of the egg/cheese mixture over the top. You can choose lightly drizzle or be a little more generous, i personally prefer to be generous, however if you want to be more crispy drizzle lightly.

5. Loosely roll the sheet of filo pastry up like a log and place into your prepared baking tin in a spiral shape. Do this until tin or saucepan is filled.

6. If there is any mixture left, drizzle it over the top of the rolls of filo, do not over fill the tin/saucepan otherwise you pastry wont become crispy. Drizzle with a knob of butter and bake for 40 minutes or until golden.

7. Leave to cool and then eat with a dollop of natural yogurt.

*I would recommend leaving remainders in an airtight container and avoid using the fridge as it will make the Banitsa soggy.

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