Makarina Banitsa or “bathed” Cheese Pie (recipe from Vardim, Svishtov region)

We are used to eat this cheese pie with pleasure every time we visit our relatives for Christmas in my mother’s native village – Vardim, on the Danube, 10 km. from the town of Svishtov towards the town of Ruse. Apart from the second largest island on the Danube River after Belene Island (Vardim Island), the village is also known for its Banitsa Makarina. I have no idea where the name or the recipe comes from. I have also not heard of it being prepared in other regions of Bulgaria. It is extremely soft and tasty and its preparation is very similar to the lasagna crusts. Whether it is a coincidence or in some way the recipe for lasagna crusts flew from Italy in these latitudes and was modified into a cheese pie, hardly anyone can tell us. The important thing is that it is very interesting and super tasty!

I have been planning to make this pie for more than a year. So far, I have only assisted my cousin and aunt in the preparation process, but I have not done it myself from scratch. I’m not a master at crusts preparation and that worried me a little. On the other hand, my daily routine does not give me many free hours to make pastry crusts 😉 Well, finally its time has come. I rolled up my sleeves and I think it worked!

Thanks to my cousin Margarita and my aunt Zdravka, from whom I learned how to cook it. Hugs and kisses!

And you look at the recipe. 🙂

 

AnnieAuthorAnnieCategoryDifficultyAdvanced

НЕОБХОДИМИ ПРОДУКТИ:

 10 eggs
 1 tbsp. salt
 900 g flour (plus another 100 grams for kneading and rolling)
 500 g white cheese
 50 g butter
 100 ml sunflower oil

Prep Time2 hrs 30 minsCook Time50 minsTotal Time3 hrs 20 mins

 

НАЧИН НА ПРИГОТВЯНЕ:

1

In a bowl, break the eggs. Stir with a whisk.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

2

Add the salt. Stir.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

3

Add the flour, sifting it.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

4

Add flour until a ball of dough begins to form.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

5

Transfer the dough to a floured surface.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

6

Knead a soft dough, adding more flour if necessary.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

7

Leave the dough in a bowl to "rest" for about 10 minutes.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

8

Take out the dough and form it into a roll so that you can cut it easier.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

9

Divide the dough into balls with the size of a tangerine. One of the balls should be larger than the others, as a small orange.
For the recipe, it does not matter how many balls you will roll, because then the crusts will be cut into pieces afterwards. If you are a beginner in rolling, it is advisable to make smaller balls, because it will be easier for you to handle. And you will also be able to roll out thinner crusts.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

10

In a bowl, melt the butter with the sunflower oil. If desired, you can use only the oil.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

11

Start rolling the crusts. Use a thinner rolling pin.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

12

First roll out a crust about 15 cm in diameter.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

13

Then start rolling the crust. Thin the crust by lightly pressing with your hands from the center to the ends of the crust.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

14

Then turn the crust vertically and unroll it. Then start winding and thinning the crust from your side again.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

15

Repeat the rotation of the crust and roll until you get a thin crust.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

16

If you want, you can start by rolling out the larger crust first, because it is placed at the bottom of the pan.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

17

First grease the pan well with oil. I used a tray with a diameter of about 35 cm. With this amount of dough you get a large cheese pie, so I advise you to use a tray with a similar size.
According to the recipe of the village of Vardim, where I learned the recipe (this is my mother's home village), the first crust should be wider than the tray and needs to fall outside its edges. My crust did not turn out very wide and didn't come out of the edges. This, of course, is not a problem and does not change the quality of the pie in any way. But if you want to follow the original Vardim recipe, it is good for one of the dough balls to be bigger than the others.
Place the rolled first crust on the bottom of the greased pan. Now the arrangement of the cheese pie begins.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

18

We continue to roll out all the other crusts in the way shown above.
After rolling out the crust, cut it into random shapes with a sharp knife.
If you have someone to help you in the kitchen, you can start "bathing" the crusts immediately and arrange the pie at the same time. If you have taken this challenge on your own, leave the crusts aside on a tray or a large plate. Be sure to sprinkle flour between them so that they do not stick together.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

19

Now start "bathing" the crusts.
Prepare a large casserole of salted water. Once the water boils, reduce the heat and let it boil slightly.
Put the rolled and cut crusts in the boiling water. Do not drop many pieces at once so that they do not stick (no more than 2-3 at a time). Leave the crusts inside the water and after about 30-40 seconds remove the crust. It will swell slightly, but will not be fully cooked.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

20

Remove the crust from the hot water and gently place it in another bowl of cold water for 10-15 seconds.
This step is optional.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

21

Then place the crusts in a large strainer to drain.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

22

Once you have several ready-made "bathed" pieces, you can start arranging the cheese pie.
Sprinkle the whole row evenly with a little fat and then - with crushed cheese.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

23

Then cover with already "bathed" crusts. Continue to do this until you fill the pan and finish the crusts.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

24

The last crust is also "unbathed", like the bottom one. It is placed on top and, unlike the bottom crust, has the exact diameter of the tray.
If your first crust is wider than the tray, first wrap the edges inwards on the already arranged cheese pie. Then place the top crust on top.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

25

Sprinkle with a little fat on the top crust.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

26

Bake the cheese pie in a preheated oven at about 170-180 degrees for about 45-50 minutes. It should be well roasted on the bottom and get a golden tan on top. If it starts to burn very quickly on top, cover it with aluminum foil or baking paper.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

27

After removing the baked cheese pie, sprinkle it on top with about 1/4 cup of water and immediately wrap it with a soft towel.
Allow the pie to soften for about 15-20 minutes before slicing it.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

28

This is the ready baked cheese pie. The individual layers stand out very well, and the rich filling is also visible.
Serve the pie warm. But even after it cools down, it is extremely tasty!

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

29

Enjoy! 🙂

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

 

Щом аз мога, значи и вие можете!
Добър апетит!

 

Ingredients

 10 eggs
 1 tbsp. salt
 900 g flour (plus another 100 grams for kneading and rolling)
 500 g white cheese
 50 g butter
 100 ml sunflower oil

Directions

1

In a bowl, break the eggs. Stir with a whisk.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

2

Add the salt. Stir.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

3

Add the flour, sifting it.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

4

Add flour until a ball of dough begins to form.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

5

Transfer the dough to a floured surface.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

6

Knead a soft dough, adding more flour if necessary.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

7

Leave the dough in a bowl to "rest" for about 10 minutes.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

8

Take out the dough and form it into a roll so that you can cut it easier.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

9

Divide the dough into balls with the size of a tangerine. One of the balls should be larger than the others, as a small orange.
For the recipe, it does not matter how many balls you will roll, because then the crusts will be cut into pieces afterwards. If you are a beginner in rolling, it is advisable to make smaller balls, because it will be easier for you to handle. And you will also be able to roll out thinner crusts.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

10

In a bowl, melt the butter with the sunflower oil. If desired, you can use only the oil.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

11

Start rolling the crusts. Use a thinner rolling pin.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

12

First roll out a crust about 15 cm in diameter.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

13

Then start rolling the crust. Thin the crust by lightly pressing with your hands from the center to the ends of the crust.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

14

Then turn the crust vertically and unroll it. Then start winding and thinning the crust from your side again.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

15

Repeat the rotation of the crust and roll until you get a thin crust.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

16

If you want, you can start by rolling out the larger crust first, because it is placed at the bottom of the pan.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

17

First grease the pan well with oil. I used a tray with a diameter of about 35 cm. With this amount of dough you get a large cheese pie, so I advise you to use a tray with a similar size.
According to the recipe of the village of Vardim, where I learned the recipe (this is my mother's home village), the first crust should be wider than the tray and needs to fall outside its edges. My crust did not turn out very wide and didn't come out of the edges. This, of course, is not a problem and does not change the quality of the pie in any way. But if you want to follow the original Vardim recipe, it is good for one of the dough balls to be bigger than the others.
Place the rolled first crust on the bottom of the greased pan. Now the arrangement of the cheese pie begins.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

18

We continue to roll out all the other crusts in the way shown above.
After rolling out the crust, cut it into random shapes with a sharp knife.
If you have someone to help you in the kitchen, you can start "bathing" the crusts immediately and arrange the pie at the same time. If you have taken this challenge on your own, leave the crusts aside on a tray or a large plate. Be sure to sprinkle flour between them so that they do not stick together.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

19

Now start "bathing" the crusts.
Prepare a large casserole of salted water. Once the water boils, reduce the heat and let it boil slightly.
Put the rolled and cut crusts in the boiling water. Do not drop many pieces at once so that they do not stick (no more than 2-3 at a time). Leave the crusts inside the water and after about 30-40 seconds remove the crust. It will swell slightly, but will not be fully cooked.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

20

Remove the crust from the hot water and gently place it in another bowl of cold water for 10-15 seconds.
This step is optional.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

21

Then place the crusts in a large strainer to drain.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

22

Once you have several ready-made "bathed" pieces, you can start arranging the cheese pie.
Sprinkle the whole row evenly with a little fat and then - with crushed cheese.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

23

Then cover with already "bathed" crusts. Continue to do this until you fill the pan and finish the crusts.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

24

The last crust is also "unbathed", like the bottom one. It is placed on top and, unlike the bottom crust, has the exact diameter of the tray.
If your first crust is wider than the tray, first wrap the edges inwards on the already arranged cheese pie. Then place the top crust on top.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

25

Sprinkle with a little fat on the top crust.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

26

Bake the cheese pie in a preheated oven at about 170-180 degrees for about 45-50 minutes. It should be well roasted on the bottom and get a golden tan on top. If it starts to burn very quickly on top, cover it with aluminum foil or baking paper.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

27

After removing the baked cheese pie, sprinkle it on top with about 1/4 cup of water and immediately wrap it with a soft towel.
Allow the pie to soften for about 15-20 minutes before slicing it.

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

28

This is the ready baked cheese pie. The individual layers stand out very well, and the rich filling is also visible.
Serve the pie warm. But even after it cools down, it is extremely tasty!

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

29

Enjoy! 🙂

Баница "Макарина" или "къпана" баница

Makarina Banitsa or “bathed” Cheese Pie (recipe from Vardim, Svishtov region) – recipe
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