Bulgarian Dessert Recipes

Favorite traditional dessert recipes

Baked Apples

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Baked applesThere isn't much to this baked apple recipe, which is probably more universal than Bulgarian - though the walnuts might be a particular Bulgarian touch. It's good if you like baked apples, but it won't turn you into a convert if you don't. That said, the vanilla syrup from the original recipe might have made all the difference, alas I burnt it and didn't have time to make more, so I served them with ice cream instead.

Ingredients

4 apples, peeled
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
a sprinkle of cinnamon

Preparation

Core the apples. Mix butter and sugar, add walnuts and cinnamon. Fill the apples with the butter mixture. Put on a baking sheet inside the baking dish and sprinkle with some water. Bake on a 300F oven until soft. Serve with ice cream or vanilla syrup.

 

 

Baklava

We don't claim Baklava is a Bulgarian dish. It is claimed by almost every Balkan state as its own invention. In the US, it is known as a Greek pastry, although truth be told, it's Turkish. Baklava

Ingredients

1 pack of filo dough
1 lb walnuts, chopped medium fine
1 tsp vanilla (or use vanilla sugar)
4 tablespoons of butter, melted
4 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp lemon juice

Preparation

Make the syrup first. Boil the water and sugar for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice, boil 10 more minutes, set aside to cool. Then make the filling - mix the walnuts, 1/4 cup of sugar and vanilla. Take out a sheet of dough and place it in the pan. Brush the dough with melted butter. Repeat 10-12 times. Spread the walnut filling across the tray. Do the rest of the dough sheets in the same way as the first 10-12. Cut the surface into squares or diamonds. Bake on 325 degrees for about 60 minutes or until golden brown. Let it cool a bit and add the syrup. Let cool down before serving. Best served cold.

 

 

Mekitsi (Fried dough pastry)

MekitsiIngredients

2 lbs flour,
3eggs,
1 lbs yoghurt (you can use regular milk instead)
a pack of yeast ( or 1 tsp of baking soda),
1 cup water,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
1 cupful oil.

Preparation

Add yeast to some lukewarm water, let it stay for 5 mins to get bubbly. Beat eggs and yoghurt and water together until they mix well. Add flower and continue to mix until you get soft dough. Let it stand for 1 hour. Roll into a sheet and cut out circles (you can use a teacup). Fry in plenty of oil (deep fryer will do) until golden brown. Serve powdered with sugar. They go well with jam or feta cheese too.

 

 

Spinach BanitsaSpinach banitsa

Ingredients

2lbs flour,
3 cups water
2lbs spinach, finely chopped
1lbs white cheese (feta),
3/2 cups of yoghurt (or milk),
4 tbsp butter,
1 tbsp oil,
1 tsp vinegar,
a pinch of salt.

Preparation

Cook the spinach in 1 tbsp butter for 5 mins. Let it cool and add in the crumbled cheese and yoghurt. Separately, combine the flour, oil, vinegar, salt and water and knead until you get hard dough. Separate into 10 and roll into thin sheets. You can also use filo dough sheets from the store instead. Line a baking dish with butter, place 1 sheet on the bottom and top with the spinach filling. Repeat until all sheets are done. Bake for about 35 mins in 375 F oven.

Try the same recipe with leeks instead of spinach!

 

 

Saraliiska BanitsaSaraliiska banitsa

Ingredients

2 lbs flour,
1/2 cup walnut kernels,
4 cups sugar,
6 cups water,
vanilla,
pinch of salt,
2 tbsp butter.

Preparation

Combine the flour, salt and 3 cups water and knead a medium-hard dough. Roll into thin sheets (makes about 10). You can also use filo dough sheets from the store instead. Baste each sheet with butter and top with crushed walnut kernels. Roll the sheet and arrange either lengthwise or in a circle in a better-lined dish. Bake for about 35 mins in 375 F oven. After it has cooled pour over the hot syrup made from combining sugar, 3 cups of water and vanilla.

 

 

Milk BanitsaMilk banitsa

Ingredients

2lbs flour,
9 eggs,
2 cups milk,
1 cup cupful sugar,
1/2 cup semolina,
1 tbsp oil,
1 tbsp vinegar,
1 cup water,
pinch of salt
2 tbsp butter.

Preparation

Combine the flour, salt, 1 egg, vinegar, and 3 cups water and knead a medium-hard dough. Roll into thin sheets (makes about 10). You can also use filo dough sheets from the store instead. Place all sheets in a tray, one after another, basting each one with melted butter. Cut into squares or diamonds. Bring the milk to the boil, add the sugar, remaining butter and semolina under constant stirring. Allow to cool down, then add the 8 beaten eggs. Mix well and pour over the pastry sheets. Bake for about 25 mins in 375 F oven. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar or other icing.

 

 

Crème Caramel

Crème CaramelCrème Caramel is not originally from Bulgaria but it's one of the most favorite desserts there. It is a guilty pleasure and the way it is prepared in Bulgaria only contributes to its already established deliciousness.

Ingredients

1/4 gallon milk
8 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of vanilla (optional)
a pinch of cinnamon (optional)
10-12 small oven-proof cups

Preparation

Mix the eggs and the milk well. Stir more than half of the sugar in and add the vanilla and cinnamon. Try the mixture and if you find it not sweet enough, add more sugar to taste. Sugar is important here - the more, the better the taste. Melt the rest of the sugar in a non-stick pan, stirring occasionally so it does not burn. Add some water to it to make the melting easier - don't worry water will vaporize gradually leaving the sticky molten sugar in the pan. Pour the sugar in the cups, make sure you cover the bottoms well. Follow by pouring in the egg and milk mixture. Place the full cups in a pan of water in a way that water level reaches the same height as the mixture inside the cup. Bake for about 25 mins in 375 F oven until golden brown crust is formed on top. Serve the contents of the cup upside-down on a small plate.