An amazing savory cheese pie with quark, feta, and layers of pastry, a Romanian-style borek called Dobrogeana.
This is one of the best savory cheese pies I have had in my life! I mean it! I could not stop eating it! And I wasn't alone there, everyone sitting at the table had the same problem... Four adults, two kids, and a whole tray full of cheese pie … three pieces left to take to work the next day... nothing else. And trust me, this pie was huge, actually large enough to feed 10 people. The greed, I am telling you!
It is a quite well-known kind of pie in Romania, the Placinta Dobrogeana under its original name.
I assume this cheese pie originated in the Turkish kitchen. There is quite a large minority of the Turkish and Tatar population living in this area of Romania and their kitchen greatly influenced the local kitchen. Eating baklava and other Turkish-inspired sweets, lamb kebabs, and pies similar to the Turkish borek is something you will only find in the Dobrogea kitchen in Romania.
But Turkish influence on any kind of cooking can only be a positive thing, I find Turkish food amazing, really at the top of my list together with Indian food when it comes to ethnic cuisine.
What do you need?
- I used yufka pastry, which is very easily available in all the Turkish shops in Germany, but if you cannot find it filo pastry will do just as well.
- I had a large package that contained 15 sheets of approximately 43x30 cm/ 17x20 inches. You do not need exactly these same sizes, more or less is OK.
- Turkish feta is also the best choice, but any other feta you like will be OK as well.
- Buy a block of feta and not the already crumbled one, it makes a world of difference when it comes to taste.
- I used quark in the filling as well, to replace the Romanian branza de vaci.
- I like quark, it tastes fresh and its low-fat version, which is the one I use for most of the baking or cooking with quark, is really very low in calories and that is never a bad thing when making a cheese pie.
How to make?
- Keep the pastry sheets you are not working with covered with a kitchen towel in the meantime.
- I prefer to prepare all the pastry layers first, spread them on my very large kitchen table, and when they are all brushed and put together, divide the cheese filling evenly between the sheets.
- Take one pastry sheet and brush it lightly with olive oil. Place another sheet on top and brush again. Repeat with a third pastry sheet and brush again.
- Place some cheese filling on only one half of the yufka pastry leaving a little bit of space around the edges. Fold the other half of the pastry on top of it. Brush the folded half again with a little oil.
- Push the sides of the pastry towards the middle so that the whole things forms creases, see the pictures. Repeat until you have used all of your pastry and filling.
- Keep in mind that each layer of pastry should be made out of 3 pastry sheets layered on top of each other with olive oil in between.
- Place each formed, creased pastry assembly into the prepared pan.
When everything is in the pan, cut 3 times across the filled pastry, it will make things easier for you when the pie is ready to serve.
Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
How to serve?
Serve this quark pie preferably hot from the oven with a salad on the side, if you wish. However, the leftover pieces eaten at room temperature the next day were delicious as well.
More quark recipes:
- Nalesniki Recipe - Polish Crepes
- Pasca - Romanian Easter Bread
- Crustless Cheesecake
- German Cheesecake
- Strawberry Mascarpone Dessert
- Quark Muffins
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Savory Cheese Pie with Quark
- Deep baking tin of about 30x22 cm/12x9
- 14 oz pack yufka pastry or filo pastry (Note 1)
- olive oil for brushing
- 5 large eggs
- 9 oz feta (Note 2)
- 9 oz low-fat quark
- 1 ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- fine sea salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush a deep baking tin of about 30x22 cm/12x9 inches with olive oil. The baking tin needs to be deep to avoid messing up your oven with the runny cheese filling. Mine is about 5 cm/ 2 inches deep.
- Mix: Place the eggs into a large bowl and beat them well with a fork or a whisk. Crumble the feta into the bowl, add quark and yogurt, mix well with the fork. Add salt to taste; it depends on how salty the feta cheese is.
- Don't overmix; you want the mixture to be somewhat crumbly from the feta, it should not become a paste.
- Keep the pastry sheets you are not working with covered with a kitchen towel in the meantime. I prefer to prepare all the pastry layers first, spread them on my very large kitchen table, and when they are ready, divide the cheese filling evenly between the sheets.
- Pastry layer: Take one pastry sheet and brush it lightly with olive oil. Place another sheet on top and brush again. Repeat with a third pastry sheet and brush again.
- Add filling: Place some cheese filling on only one half of the yufka pastry, leaving a little bit of space around the edges. Fold the other half of the pastry on top of it. Brush the folded half again with a bit of oil.
- Push the sides of the pastry towards the middle so that the whole thing forms creases; see the pictures.
- Repeat until you have used all of your pastry and filling. Keep in mind that each layer of pastry should be made out of 3 pastry sheets layered on top of each other with olive oil in between.
- Cut: Place each formed, creased pastry assembly into the prepared pan. When everything is in the pan, cut 3 times across the filled pastry, it will make things easier for you when the pie is ready to serve.
- Bake: Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature.
- My Yufka pastry pack contained 15 sheets of approximately 43x30 cm/ 17x20 inches. Of course, you do not need precisely these exact sizes; more or less is OK.
- Preferably sheep's feta, but cow's feta is fine as well. Buy a block of feta, not already crumbled feta.
Wow! It looks and sounds amazing! I often bake with filo and as you say, it's a good replacement for yufka, so I will add it to my to do list.
I find the way you roll and place the pastry in the form really fascinating!
It's a pity we only have basic greasy kebabs here as "Turkish" food because from what I read and see sometimes on travel tv programs, it seems really fascinating....
This is something I really love. I never used yufka, but I will try this recipe with filo.
Interesting is, that for me cheese pastries and pies not Turky but Georgia or Greek cuisine 🙂 :). But anyway same region and maybe just some differeces in seasoning 🙂 🙂
Kelly Mahan says
I've never tried making cheese pie before, but this looks so good that I'll have to try. Thank you for the recipe!
Thao @ In Good Flavor says
I have never heard of this cheese pie, or quark and yulfka, but I want them all now. This looks so good!! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe, Adina.
What an absolutely gorgeous pie! I've never seen anything like it. Quark? That's a new cheese to me, but I have never met a cheese I didn't like. My family would love this!
Amy Kugali McWilliams says
Thank you for this recipe! My grandmother was from northern Greece and used to make a dish VERY similar to this one (she made hers in a circle pie shape). It was so wonderful and I thought I would never have it again but this one tasted so much like hers! My only changes were that I used phyllo dough then cottage cheese instead of quark. I think my grandmother used butter instead of olive oil so I may try it with butter the next time I make it. So delicious - thanks again!!
Hi Amy. I am so glad you liked the pie and that it reminded you of your grandmother's pie. Cottage cheese sounds great, I use it myself sometimes for similar recipes. And phyllo is perfect, more Greek I suppose, I usually go for yufka because unlike phyllo I can buy just about anywhere here.
Valentina Alexieva says
I think using phyllo or yufka is important, it is a different dish, one is banicza the other is yufka!. I am Bulgarian I never seen the two confused.