You can buy these Turkish pastry leaves or yufka, at Mediterranean Specialty Foods on Commerial Dr. They are slightly thicker and so easier to work with than their cousin phyllo. But we’re talking something similar: pastries with fillings. Foods of Turkey has a good article explaining yufka for North American consumers.
I trust that Turkish börek (or borek or boerek), which is what I set out to make, are like most stuffed and rolled things, diverse as the cooks who make them. That’s the attraction with this kind of food, isn’t it? Getting away with your own spin?
But you have to start somewhere. And the börek recipe from the Turkish cookbook on a friend’s counter (will find name) gave me that. It also brought me to a pretty good end so that I got pastries that looked like the package picture – even if I did mess with the flavours. Plus, these are baked not deep fried, something I don’t do well (but like).
Baked Börek with Meat Filling
3 tbsp. water
250 gr. ground sirloin
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion – finely diced
1 c. cracked green olives – chopped
1/2 c. walnuts – coarsely chopped
3 green onions
1 tsp. ground Aleppo pepper*
2 tsp. pomegranate molasses
Cook ground sirloin in olive oil with onions until brown. Add everything else except parsley and green onions and sauté on medium low heat until flavours are blended. Mixture should be moist but not wet. Off heat, mix in parsley and green onion. Let cool.
Peel off a pastry leaf and position wide side in front of you, pointy end away. Spread about 2-3 tbsp. of filling across the top, 1/2″ from the edge. Roll to pointy end so you have a cigar shape (rolled börek is 1-2″ in diameter). Pinch in the edges and brush all over with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 tsp. water). Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment, cover with a damp cloth until ready to bake. Into a 375 F. oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Refreeze any unused pastry.
Buy yufka at:
Mediterranean Specialty Foods
1824 Commercial Drive