RECIPE: Gibanica

RECIPE: Gibanica

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There's more than one way to make a Balkan pie

A slice of Balkan cheese pie made by Monica Obradovic. 

Photo by Cristina M. Fletes, cfletes@post-dispatch.com.

Yield: 10 servings

2 pounds phyllo dough, preferably the thickest, “country style” type

7 eggs

1½ pounds cottage cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ pound farmers’ cheese or feta, crumbled

3 tablespoons soda water

2/3 cup corn oil, divided

Notes: Use the deepest metal baking pan you have, preferably at least 2½ inches.

1. Thaw phyllo dough according to package instructions. Grease bottom of an extra-large baking pan, preferably 11-by-16-inches (available at European markets). Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl, then stir in the cottage cheese, salt, baking powder and farmers’ cheese. Stir in the soda water.

3. Cover the bottom of the pan with a single layer of phyllo dough, making sure some of the pieces hang over the sides. Evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon oil over the dough.

4. Take a piece of phyllo dough and wrinkle it into the dish with as many bumps as possible so it doesn’t lie flat. Depending on the size of your pan, use 2 to 3 pieces of dough for each layer. Evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon oil on the dough, including the sides and corners. Do not allow the oil to pool.

5. Sprinkle ½ to ¾ cup egg-and-cheese mixture on the dough, including the sides, enough to make sure the edges and crevices are covered. Do not allow the mixture to pool.

6. Repeat laying down 2 to 3 pieces of wrinkled dough and sprinkling them with oil and the egg-and-cheese mixture until you have 1 layer of dough left. Cover the top of the dish with that last remaining layer, folding in any excess on the sides. Cover the top with a final layer of the egg-and-cheese mixture and oil, but do not dump any mixture leftovers on top.

7. Bake 40 minutes or until the top turns golden brown and the sides separate from the pan.

Per serving: 568 calories; 30g fat; 9g saturated fat; 43mg cholesterol; 21g protein; 53g carbohydrate; 4g sugar; 2g fiber; 1,139mg sodium; 260mg calcium

Recipe by Monica Obradovic

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