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Sweet ricotta & strawberry bourekas for Shavuot

  • JTA
I’m a cheese and dairy fanatic. So for obvious reasons my favourite holiday is Shavuot. This is when spring has sprung and my family makes a whole spread of cheese and dairy-filled foods and desserts.
by DANIELLE ORON | Jun 08, 2016

 

Pictured: Middle East hand pies - are simple to assemble.

PHOTOGRAPH: DANIELLE ORON

There is always a ton of different cheeses, spreads, breads, fluffy cheesecake, kugel, blintzes and my absolute favourite, bourekas - puff pastry or a simple butter pie dough filled with cheese and either potato, mushrooms or spinach. When you manage to get one hot out of the oven, they are heavenly!

So why not have sweet bourekas on the table, too? I'll be taking care of that this year. They'll be filled with a sweetened ricotta cheese and macerated strawberries, since they are in season in the United States. No fresh strawberries around? Try using jam in whatever flavour you like.

You can also make these ahead and freeze them, baking one by one for a midnight snack if you really want to. The beauty of bourekas is that you can bake them even if they are frozen. I love a good make-ahead recipe when I know I’m making a slew of things during the holidays.

Sweet ricotta and strawberry bourekas

Yield: 12

Ingredients

1 sheet of puff pastry, cut into 3 1/2- to 4-inch (89 to 101mm) squares
3/4 cup finely diced strawberries
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup ricotta
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 egg
Coarse sugar

Method

 

Mix the diced strawberries and sugar (1/2 teaspoon) in a small bowl and allow to sit for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta with the sugar (1 1/2 tablespoons) and the vanilla bean paste.

Prepare an egg wash by whisking the egg with a splash of water. Line a sheet pan with tin foil and coat with a bit of cooking spray.

Fill each square with about 2 teaspoons of ricotta filling and about a teaspoon of strawberries, leaving at least a 1/4-inch (6,7mm) border. Brush some egg wash along the edges of the puff pastry and seal them into triangles. Use a fork to press down along the edges. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with lots of coarse sugar.

Transfer the bourekas to the prepared sheet pan and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. At this point you can transfer them to storage bags and keep frozen until you’re ready to bake them.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until golden brown and flaky, about 18-20 minutes. Enjoy! (The Nosher through JTA)

 

Danielle Oron is a chef, photographer and blogger and owner of a milk and cookies bakery in Toronto, and now a cookbook author. She is Israeli, Moroccan, Canadian and American and was classically trained at the French Culinary Institute.

 

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