Slovenia – Prekmurska gibanica

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IMG_6475tI have to admit that I was really resistant to making this. I wasn’t convinced that it was going to turn out right, and this year I’ve made so many things that are completely unfamiliar to me. This is the last one, the last cake in this project that I felt totally out of my depth making when I looked at the recipe. Of course, I went ahead with it anyway, used most of the bowls in our house (4 separate fillings!), and I feel like it turned out wonderfully. It was one of those moments when you take something out of the tin and realise you didn’t mess it up, and there’s a small to medium sense of relief and joy. Then I ate some and was additionally glad I did it.

IMG_6469t

I made half the quantity that’s in the recipe below, and found that it filled a 9″x11″ tin to the brim. I lined the tin as well, rather than just greasing it, because I had no clue how I was going to get it out otherwise. Turns out it solidifies fairly well during baking, but I was quite glad to have the lining as back up rather than attempting to turn it out onto a tray.

IMG_6470tPrekmurska gibanica (recipe from here)

500g filo pastry

Poppyseed filling:
400g poppy seeds, very briefly whizzed in a food processor with the steel blade
200g sugar
cinnamon to taste
1 cup hot milk

Apple filling:
500g apples, grated
200g sugar
cinnamon to taste
1 lemon rind, grated
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cottage cheese filling:
500g cottage cheese (curd, or quark, see photo above)
300ml sour cream
1 egg
200g sugar
2 tablespoons raisins, soaked in rum
vanilla to taste

Walnut filling:
500g ground walnuts (blitz walnuts in the food processor for a minute or so if you can’t find them readily ground)
200g sugar
cinnamon to taste

  1. In separate bowls, mix the ingredients for each filling together. Grease (butter is best) a square/rectangular ovenproof baking dish.
  2. Place a layer of filo pastry in the bottom of the baked dish. Brush lightly with melted butter. Spread half the poppy seed filling evenly over it.
  3. Cover with another sheet of pastry and brush with melted butter. Spread this layer with half the apple filling.
  4. Cover with another sheet of pastry: brush with melted butter. Spread with half the cottage cheese filling.
  5. Cover with a sheet of pastry, brushing with melted butter. Spread with half the walnut filling: cover with pastry and brush with melted butter.
  6. Repeat this process with the remaining poppyseed filling, apple filling, cottage cheese filling and walnut filling, making sure to brush each layer of pastry with the melted butter as you proceed.
  7. Top with a final layer of filo and brush with melted butter.
  8. Bake for about 1 hour at 175C. Cut into squares and serve.
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