Bulgarian Traditional Pumpkin Banitsa
Bulgarian pumpkin banitza (or banitsa) is also known as tikvenik and is a dessert version of savory cheese banitsa made with flaky filo dough and either fresh or canned pumpkin. Other sweet fillings include apple and walnut. This is a popular dessert served with strong Turkish coffee.
- 1 (2-pound) pie pumpkin, peeled and seeded, or 1 (1-pound) can pumpkin puree
- 4 ounces (1 stick) butter plus 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 16 sheets filo dough, thawed
- Grate pumpkin. Melt 4 ounces butter in large saucepan and add pumpkin and sugar, cooking until pumpkin is tender. Let cool and add walnuts and cinnamon.
- If using canned pumpkin, transfer to a bowl and add sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon, mixing well.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Fold one sheet filo dough in half so it measures 12 inches by 8 inches. Brush lightly with melted butter.
- Portion out a ½-inch strip of filling along either the 12-inch edge if you want an "S"-shaped scroll, or along the 8-inch edge for a cigar-shaped roll and ¼ inch away from the edges. Fold up bottom edge first, then sides and then roll away from yourself until you have a tight cylinder. Brush lightly with more melted butter.
- Repeat with remaining 15 sheets of filo dough. Shape long cylinders into "S" shapes or leave short cylinders as is and place them on a parchment-lined pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature.