Ever since I tasted börek at one of the stall in Queen Victoria Market circa 2010, I knew I wanted to make my own börek someday. Now you may ask, wth is börek? Börek is a Turkish baked pastry made from filo pastry/phyllo and filled with vegetables or meat with cheese. You can say that it’s a Turkish version of pie. The one that I will be making below is filled with spinach and feta cheese.
Use a rectangle baking pan and brush all sides and bottom with melted butter. My pan size is 9″x13″. Now take the first layer of the filo pastry and layer into the pan and brush with glaze like in the picture above. As you can see, the filo pastry is larger than my pan. You can trim the filo pastry to fit the pan perfectly or just layer it like I do.
Continue adding a second layer and brush with glaze again. Do this repeatedly until 9 layers has been used up. Because my filo come with 18 sheets, I halved it to become 9 sheets. That’s why. If your filo box come with 20 sheets, then layer it for 10 layers with glaze in between them.
On top of the 9th layer, add spinach + feta cheese filling. Make sure they are evenly distributed. Allow some space on the edges and corners (about ½ inch) so that when you slice it later, the filling won’t over flow.
Now you’re ready to bake. Bake at 180oC for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Hope you enjoy this delicious börek.
1 box filo pastry, thawed overnight (if frozen) – mine contained 18 sheets
50g-70g feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
500g baby spinach, washed and dried
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 bottle of cooked spinach (about 500g) – if you’re lazy like me
40g butter, melted (leave some for oiling the baking pan)
1/3 cup natural yogurt or milk (I use yogurt)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup yogurt or milk (I use yogurt)
1. If you’re using bottled cooked spinach you may skip this step 1. To cook spinach, heat cooking oil in a pan or wok. Add chopped onion and cook until fragrant. Add spinach, salt and pepper and stir well. Cook until the spinach has lost its volume. Turn off heat and transfer to a bowl. Let spinach cooled down for about 15 minutes.
Once it has cooled down, use a strainer to strain off its juices. Place spinach in a bowl
2. Add feta cheese into the spinach. Stir gently to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the glaze together and on another bowl, mix the topping glaze.
4. Using a rectangle pan (mine is 9″x13″), brush pan on all sides and bottom with melted butter.
5. Unfold filo and place on a dry flat surface. Cover filo with damp cloth as this dough sheet is very thin and dries off rather easily.
6. Layer the first layer of filo pastry into the pan and brush with glaze. Continue this for 8 layers more; that is layer a sheet into the pan and brush with glaze until all 9 layers is used up.
Because my filo box come with a total of 18 sheets, I halved it becoming 9 sheets as mentioned above.
7. Add spinach+feta cheese filling and distribute evenly, leaving about ½ inch space on the edges and corners.
8. Then top with filo and brush with glaze. Continue this for the next 8 layers (when you have used up all your filo sheet).
9. Brush the top layer with topping glaze. Use a knife to cut into your desired shaped (I slice mine into squares). Lastly sprinkle black and white sesame seeds on top.
10. Bake at 180oC for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serves warm.