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Recipe Collection

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Prep time: 30-45 mins

Cook time: 45 mins

Yield: 4 dozen small pastries

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Borekitas is the “affectionate” term for small borekas. There are many recipes that have shortcuts for making borekas, but this is the authentic Turkish recipe, one of the many delicious varieties of borekitas that Aunt Ida is known for! Recipe courtesy of Beyhan Cağri Trock, The Ottoman Turk and the Pretty Jewish Girl

Ingredients

  • Filling
  • 2-3 (2½ pounds) fresh globe eggplants, roasted or a 16-ounce can of eggplant purée
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Dough
  • 1½ cups vegetable oil (or measure 5 Turkish coffee cups)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup grated Kasseri cheese (Kaşer Peynırı)
  • 4-5 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (topping)

Preparation

  • Place eggplant pulp in a small bowl and blot dry with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Add cheeses and salt. Blend well. Set aside.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. (If you plan to freeze the börekitas and bake at a later date, clear a level spot in your freezer large enough for a cookie sheet.) Pour oil into a medium-sized bowl. Stir in ¾ cup water, salt and Kasseri cheese. Stirring constantly with one hand, gradually add 4 to 4½ cups flour, a little at a time until there is just enough to hold mixture together in a very loose and squishy ball. Do not overmix; the dough should be very soft and wet. Aunt Ida always says, “It should feel like your earlobe.” The dough must be kept cool to prevent it from losing this consistency. To do this, place bowl of dough inside a larger bowl of ice water or if you prefer, keep half of it cooled in the freezer while forming börekitas with the other half.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To make the pastries, begin by pouring about ½ cup flour into a pile off to the side on a large, flat, wooden work surface. Pinch off a large walnut-sized piece of dough. Pat it once into pile of flour. Flip it over and pat again. Roll quickly between palms and lay ball on work surface. Use fingers to press ball into a disc shape about ¼-inch thick and 3 to 3½ inches in diameter. Spoon 1 teaspoon eggplant filling into center of disc. With flour on your fingertips, delicately peel up edge of disc and pull it completely over filling, allowing it to droop over the other side. To make börekita fluffy, you must NEVER touch the top! Tuck upper edge underneath while puffing up bottom edge to form a continuous seal. While you are doing this, gently coax pastry into a pudgy, crescent shape. Lay pastries onto parchment paper with enough room for each pastry to expand during baking. Repeat process until all dough is used.  Sprinkle pastries with Parmesan cheese before putting into oven. Bake at 400 degrees for the first 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 15 minutes or until light brown. Pastries can be frozen before or after baking.

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