As the rest of the Balkan countries, pastries (sweet and savory) made out of phyllo dough is an everyday food here in Serbia. The famous Serbian Gibanica or cheese pie, baklava, and pita or pie from all kinds of filling possible. For the savory, there is mushroom, feta cheese, white cheese, spinach, smoked meat, ground meat and a combination of some of those stuff. Think of any fruit and a pie can be made from almost (ALMOST) all of it. Some of them I tried, some I have yet to try. Today, I was inspired by a recipe I saw online. If you are familiar with baklava rolls or baklava cigars, this recipe is a bit similar but it uses dried coconut instead of walnuts. The recipe that I saw is in Serbian so I thought I would share an english version with some tips and modifications to the process. Aside from that, all credits for the recipe are given to Ema, the author of the recipe on recepti.com. Please click here for the original version.
And here is the English version:
- 1 pack (500g) Phyllo or Filo dough
- 3 eggs
- 200 grams white sugar
- 200 ml sunflower oil or canola oil
- 300 ml jogurt
- 1 packet (12 grams) baking powder
- 200 grams coconut flour
For the syrup:
- 800 ml water
- 600 grams white sugar
- 2 packets vanilla sugar
Preheat the oven at 200°C or 392°F . Prepare the filling, beat the eggs and sugar together, then add the oil and yogurt. Mix well. Add the coconut flour and baking powder. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough and you can brush or spray with oil. Add another layer then add the filling at one end of the dough (like how you will fill a spring roll). Then just roll the pastry and place in a big baking pan, also brushed or sprayed with oil. Repeat the process until all the filling is used up. Cut the pastry into desired serving size. Brush the top with oil or melted butter or a mixture of both. Bake until golden brown.
While the pastry is baking, make the syrup. Add all ingredients in one pot and let it simmer or just until the sugar is dissolved. No need for a thick syrup. Rest the syrup and let it cool.
Pour the syrup over baked pastry and let it rest so it can absorb the syrup.
- In supermarkets, you will most likely find the thin phyllo dough which is for baklava, so I didn’t followed the original recipe which calls for 1 ½ sheet of dough.
- We call it coconut flour in Serbia, but you can also use dessicated coconut if you can’t find coconut flour
- For the syrup, the recipe calls for vanilla sugar but can just add a few drops of vanilla or vanilla essence. Also, you can adjust the recipe of the syrup if you feel that the amount of sugar is too much for you.
- You can count the number of phyllo sheets in advance so you know how to allocate your filling.
- If you refer to the original recipe, it uses cups which in Serbian cooking means a plastic cup you can find as a packaging for yogurts. The measurement now varies from 180 ml to 200 ml.
- For baking time, it depends on your judgment. This pastry is not so sensitive so no need to be very precise in baking time. Just make sure it doesn’t burn. You can also just bake it in 200°C for the first 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180°C for the rest of the baking time or until you can see that it is ready.