Sweet Carrot Pie with filo pastry (Carrot Banitsa)

In the middle east, there is a lot of different recipes with filo pastry, it gives very different and specific a little bit of crunchy taste in every dish. Do you actually know what is filo pastry? Where it comes from and what type of recipes you can create with it? I will share with you everything about it + an incredible, easy, delicious vegan recipe which incorporates the middle east spirit with filo pastry in it and carrots which are most known to use in a dessert in our lovely carrot cake recipes.


As usual, let's start with a little bit of history about Filo:


The origin of the current practice of stretching the raw dough into paper-thin sheets is highly debated, unclear, and unknown. Many credits the origins of Filo as far back as antiquity. Ancient Greeks would bake thin bread sweetened with walnuts and honey, arguably the ancestor to Baklava. The first documented such food may have been written in Homer's Odyssey written around 800 B.C.In the fifth century B.C. Philoxenos states in his poem "Dinner" that, in the final drinking course of a meal, hosts would prepare and serve cheesecake made with milk and honey that was baked into a pie.


The 11th century Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk by Mahmud Kashgari records the meaning of yurgha, an archaic term for yufka, as "pleated or folded bread". (Yufka is the Turkish language term for filo, as well as for a kind of thin unleavened bread.)The mention of filo is documented in the Topkapı Palace during the time of the Ottoman Empire.

Ultimately many historians will cite that the origin is not definitive but rather the dough has been an evolution over the various ages between many cultures and peoples.


Filo dough is made with flour, water and a small amount of oil. Homemade filo takes time and skill, requiring progressive rolling and stretching to a single thin and very large sheet. A very big table is used, preferably with a marble top. If the dough is stretched by hand a long, thin rolling pin is used, with continual flouring between layers to prevent the sheets from sticking to one another. In modern times, mechanical rollers are also used. Prior to World War I, households in Istanbul typically had two filo makers to prepare razor-thin sheets for baklava, and the relatively thicker sheets used forbörek. Fresh and frozen versions are prepared for commercial markets.


So now you know a little bit more about filo pastry, now let me share with you that incredible recipe, which definitely will be one of your favorites soon!


Prep: 20 min

Cook time: 15 +15 min

Level: average

Servings: 12 portions

Calories per serving: 354 kcal

Find the recipe & nutrition facts below :


Ingredients:

  • 1 package filo pastry

  • 800 gr. carrots

  • 1 medium apple

  • 2/3 cup of vegetable oil + 1/3 cup for frying

  • 1 cup of sugar

  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon

  • 1/2 chopped walnuts

  • 1/2 cup water

Method:

Step 1: Heat 1/3 cup of oil in a large frying pan.

Step 2: Grate an apple and carrots.

Step 3: Place them in the frying pan and cover with a lid and cook for around 15 mins, stirring occasionally until they become soft and golden.

Step 4: Preheat oven to 180C.

Step 5: Cover a deep baking tray with baking paper.

Step 6: Place 2 sheets of filo pastry grease in with the oil, spread evenly around 2 tbsp of cooked carrots, 1 tbsp of sugar, and sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon. Repeat with the remaining pastry, and add chopped walnuts occasionally.

Step 7: Grease the top of your layered pie and sprinkle some sugar on top. On the edges pour the 1/2 cup of water.

Step 8: Place your pie in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes.

Step 9: Cut in 12 equal square pieces.


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