17 November 2012

Milk Banitza

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While rummaging through the freezer, I noticed I have two packets of filo pastry that I'd forgotten about.

I also somehow managed to end up with a surplus of milk, so what better thing to do than a Milk Banitza (млечна баница in Bulgarian). This is quite a common breakfast dish in Bulgaria and I realised I haven't made it since before we moved into our house and thus not on the blog.

So yesterday I thawed a packet of filo pastry in the fridge and prepared the banitza in parallel to dinner.

Ingredients

50 g butter + some for the baking dish
250 g filo pastry
8 dl milk
5 - 6 medium eggs
2 dl caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
icing sugar for sprinkling

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C and butter an oven proof dish, preferably clear pyrex so you can see when it's done.
  2. Melt the butter on low heat, taking care that it doesn't start bubbling.
  3. Place a sheet of filo in the baking dish, making sure the bottom of it is completely covered,but doesn't go up the sides. Then brush with melted butter.
  4. Place a second sheet in the same way and brush with butter. Continue until all sheets have been used up.
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  5. Make sure to brush also the top sheet with butter, then carefully cut into squares or diamonds.
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  6. Bake for around 25 minutes until the filo goes golden brown.
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  7. Take out and let cool down and make the liquid mixture in the mean time.
  8. Whisk together milk, eggs, caster sugar and vanilla essence lightly until the sugar has dissolved.
  9. Once the filo pastry has cooled down, carefully pour over the liquid mixture. The top layers of the filo will probably float on top, just push them down to get them wet.
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  10. Let the banitza stand for a while until the filo pastry has soaked up some of the liquid and swollen and doesn't float on top.
  11. Place back in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until all the liquid has been taken up. If the filo on top starts burning, cover with a sheet of baking paper or aluminium foil.
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  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve warm or cold, by carefully cutting along the pre-cut lines and take out the pieces. Sprinkle generously with icing sugar.

As usual I made a number of mistakes here - for starters I only had 220 g filo pastry and I used 1 litre of milk, so it was not possible for all the liquid to be soaked up. I also used only 5 medium eggs and I think I should have used 6. The amounts vary between recipes (I did a quick google), so I guess it also depends on the thickness of the filo pastry and how much it can absorb.

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Still, Lundulph and I had milk banitza for breakfast this morning and it was rather nice despite its runny-ness. I guess this dish is more for home use than to impress guests, but it is tasty.

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