Banitsa Fillo Pie. A Bulgarian Treasure
A simple recipe to make, with BIG flavor as a reward. What is interesting to note is the yogurt in the recipe. The yogurt keeps the pie light and refreshing, not heavy. The eggs provide protein. Great for a lunch or light dinner. Reheat for breakfast. It is no wonder this Bulgarian pie is treasured so.
Oh, and another interesting tidbit about these Bulgarian Feta Pies: When this traditional food is served for the holidays, especially New Year's or Christmas Eve it is akin to the Chinese fortune cookie. Coins, lucky charms or good wishes are wrapped in foil and baked into the banista. The pie is then spun at the table, everyone getting a slice will get a lucky charm that will be their barometer for the upcoming year. It is a sweet tradition looked forward to by child and adults alike.
- Fillo Factory dough - 1 lb box- thawed according to the directions
- whole milk plain yogurt - 14 oz
- eggs - 5 beaten
- vegetable oil - 1/2 cup + 1 tbs- Sunflower oil would be the traditional oil if you can find it, locally
- baking soda - 1 tsp
- crumbled feta cheese - 1 lb
Note: you may have noticed there is no salt on the list. The feta is generally salty enough to season the whole recipe. Only add it to taste if you have low sodium feta.
- Preheat oven to 350f
- Prepare a round or square baking pan aprox 12" across.
- In a medium bowl whip together the eggs, yogurt, oil and baking soda
- Gently open the fillo dough flat.
- spread 1/4 of a cup or so of the yogurt mix on the near end of the sheet. Then working gently and quickly roll up the sheet into a log roll and place it in your baking pan. I made mine into a spiral working out from the center. Don't worry if it breaks or tears. Just place it in the pan and continue in this fashion until you have filled the bottom of the pan. Pour all the remaining mixture over the top and use your spoon to smooth it out and make sure all the fillo is covered with it.
Bake aprox 25-30 minutes until the pie is golden. Serve warm.