This has got to be my dad's favorite, though. He often requests my mom to make it for him. My dad often remembers eating this type of cheese pie( placinta de branza ) in Romania, at bakery shops, called 'Placintarii '. He would stop by a bakery shop and buy a piece...it was very fresh and very good. You could get a piece, however big you wanted...they would cut it, place it on the scale, and weigh it for you. People would buy a piece and have it with a cold glass of beer or buttermilk/kefir. And because my dad liked the cheese pie so much, my mom started making it at home.
She came up with this recipe on her own one day. She made it using lots of feta cheese, some buttermilk, eggs and such. But one day, because she didn't have enough feta cheese, she added some cottage cheese. The result was perfect and we all liked it that way. Since then, my mom has perfected the recipe over the years. She would always make this when we had unexpected guests...it came together quickly and everyone loved it!
After I got married, my husband had the chance to try the placinta cu branza for himself. He just loved it! He used to have the placinta cu branza only when we would go visit my parents....warm, right out of the oven... and made by my mom. Recently, I decided to make it at home by myself. My husband's first reaction was, "It's just like Mom's!" I knew it was a winner... so, thank you mom! The cheese burek(or placinta de branza) is great as an appetizer...just cut them in smaller pieces. You could also serve it as a light meal with a simple salad. I am hoping you will give this recipe a try...it's so good, that you will feel like eating the whole pan:). Hope you enjoy...
Note: You can skip the buttermilk and flour if you like... also make sure the cheese pie is cooked until it puffs up and nicely golden all around... if you under bake, there's a chance for the pie to be too "wet".
You will need:
24 oz cottage cheese (I used low fat)
4 ex-large eggs, beaten
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled*
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 heaping TBS flour
* if you like yours a bit saltier , increase the amount of feta cheese
1/2 package phyllo dough
1/4 cup butter, melted ( you might need a bit more)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Butter the bottom of a 13x9 glass baking pan.
3. Lightly butter 5 phyllo sheets and place them in pan.
4. Take about 1 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture and spread it all over the phyllo dough.
5. Lightly butter 5 more phyllo sheets and place them on top of the cheese mixture. Pour another cup and a half of the cheese mixture. Repeat layering pf phyllo and cheese mixture ending with phyllo dough on top....sort of like layering a lasagna dish. You will use about 20 sheets or 1/2 of the phyllo dough package.
6. Butter the top of the phyllo dough. Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes or until nicely puffed and golden brown.
7.Let cool slightly, cut and serve warm.
The pie will deflate somewhat....that is normal. Enjoy with a nice cold glass of buttermilk, with a salad or as an appetizer.