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The Savory Cheese Pie, “Placinta cu Branza,” showcases the heart and soul of Romania, inviting you to experience the laughter and love-cooked meals of my family’s table. Every slice is a cherished moment, a blend of comforting flavors and familial warmth, inviting you to relish the culinary tales and authentic Romanian essence that has been a delightful part of my upbringing.
Savory Cheese Pie “Placinta Cu Branza”
My cherished Savory Cheese Pie, has been a proud representation of my Romanian homeland on my blog for over a decade. It continues to win the hearts and palates of many. The name itself, translating to “pie with cheese,” is a humble nod to the simple joy this dish brings.
This savory cheese pie is not just a recipe; it’s a cherished tapestry of my childhood. A flavorful embrace filled with love and tradition from my Romanian heritage. It’s sprinkled with nostalgia and holds a special place in my heart and on my blog.
Why You’ll Love This Cheese Pie
- Ease of Preparation: Using puff pastry makes this recipe incredibly straightforward and approachable, allowing even novice cooks to create this delicious pie with minimal effort.
- Versatile and Adaptable: The pie is inherently savory but can easily be adapted to create a sweet version, catering to a myriad of taste preferences and satisfying all kinds of culinary cravings.
- Flavorful and Comforting: The combination of creamy feta and ricotta, enveloped in a crispy, golden crust, offers a rich and comforting flavor profile that is universally appealing, promising satisfaction with every bite.
- Feta Cheese: Adds a robust, tangy flavor to the pie; you can substitute it with goat cheese if feta is unavailable.
- Ricotta Cheese: Balances the feta with its creamy texture and mild taste; cottage cheese makes a good substitute.
- Egg: Binds the cheese filling together; a flax egg can work as a replacement if needed.
- Puff Pastry: Creates a flaky, buttery crust; a homemade pastry dough can be used as an alternative.
- Fresh Dill (optional): Provides a fresh, herby flavor; parsley or chives can be used if dill isn’t your favorite.
Alright, you’ll be amazed at how simple it is to whip up this Savory Cheese Pie! It’s basically just assembling and baking. So, let’s get started!
Firstly, let’s tackle the cheese mixture. You just need to grate some feta into a bowl, mix it with ricotta and an egg, and you’re good to go! The ricotta is there to balance out the saltiness of the feta, so you get a nice, smooth flavor. At this point you can also add in some fresh, chopped dill which is really common for this pie.
Moving on to the puff pastry. Lay out your sheets and divide your cheese mixture into four equal parts. Now, place a portion of the cheese mix at one end of each sheet. Start from the end where you placed the cheese and roll it towards the other end, forming a log. Tuck in the ends a bit so that the cheese doesn’t ooze out of the rolls as it bakes. Repeat with remaining sheets and cheese mixture.
Place them on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper to save you some cleanup. Just make sure to leave enough space between them because they will get bigger while baking. Give them a nice brush with egg wash and poke a couple of holes with a fork or cut with scissors to let that steam out during baking. You can also sprinkle some sesame seeds over them if you wish.
Time to bake! Pop them in the oven, preheated to 375°F. Bake until they reach that beautiful golden brown, around an hour.
And there you have it! Just slice them up and enjoy your homemade Romanian Cheese Pie! It’s that easy and trust me, the taste will transport you straight to Romania!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use another type of cheese instead of feta?
Absolutely! If feta isn’t your favorite, you could try substituting it with cottage cheese or a mild shredded cheese like mozzarella or Monterey Jack. The goal is to maintain a balanced, mild flavor in conjunction with the ricotta, so try to avoid overly strong or overly salty cheeses.
Can I add other herbs or ingredients to the cheese mixture?
Definitely! Feel free to get creative. You might add fresh herbs like parsley or mint, or throw in some spinach or finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes for a different flavor profile.
Can this pie be made ahead and frozen?
Yes! Assemble the pies but don’t bake them. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. When you’re ready to enjoy, bake them from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.
Can I make a sweet version of this cheese pie?
Absolutely! For a traditional sweet version, you can use a mixture of ricotta, sugar, egg, and raisins as the filling. Adjust the sugar to your liking, and follow the same assembly and baking instructions as the savory version.
- Don’t Overstuff: Resist the temptation to overfill with cheese mixture. It can cause the pastry to become soggy, and the filling may leak out during baking.
- Keep Pastry Cold: Puff pastry works best when it’s cold. If it warms up and becomes sticky while you’re working with it, pop it back into the fridge for a few minutes.
- Proper Sealing: Make sure to seal the ends of the pastry well to prevent the cheese from oozing out during baking.
- Fresh Herbs: Don’t shy away from adding fresh herbs like dill or parsley to the cheese mixture for an extra layer of flavor.
Once it’s cooled to room temperature, you can place it in an airtight container and refrigerate it; it’ll stay fresh for up to 1 week. If you prefer to freeze it, wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer bag or airtight container. Whenever you’re ready to enjoy again, just thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the oven until warmed through, and it’ll taste as delightful as freshly baked!
Discover Other Delicious Pastries
Experience the comforting flavors of Romania with this Savory Cheese Pie! With its golden, flaky crust and delightful cheese blend, it offers a bite of simplicity, versatility, and heartwarming tradition.
Prevent your screen from going dark
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
In a bowl, grate the feta cheese, and combine it with ricotta and egg, mixing well. If desired, mix in some fresh, chopped dill for an added layer of flavor.
On a lightly floured surface, gently roll out each sheet of puff pastry. At one end of each sheet, evenly spread a quarter of the cheese mixture, and then carefully roll it up, tucking in the ends to encase the filling. Repeat with remaining pastry sheets and cheese mixture.
Arrange the rolled pastries on the prepared baking sheet. Brush each pastry with a light coat of egg wash and, if desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Pierce the pastries with a fork to create vents or cut with scissors, allowing steam to escape and ensuring a crisp crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for approximately one hour or until they are deep golden brown in color.
Allow the pies to cool slightly on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve, and savor the rich and flavorful goodness of this traditional Romanian dish.
- Dill Addition: Incorporating fresh dill is optional but highly recommended for an extra layer of flavor.
- Sesame Seeds Topping: The addition of sesame seeds is optional but can add a pleasant texture and appearance to the finished pie.
- Substitution: If feta is too strong for your taste, you can substitute it with another softer, milder cheese like ricotta or even goat cheese.
- Sweet Variation: For a sweet version of this pie, omit feta and dill, and mix ricotta with sugar, egg, and raisins instead.
- Parchment Paper Use: Lining your baking sheet with parchment paper is recommended for easy cleanup.
Serving: 2servingCalories: 450kcal (23%)Carbohydrates: 29g (10%)Protein: 11g (22%)Fat: 32g (49%)Saturated Fat: 11g (69%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 56mg (19%)Sodium: 401mg (17%)Potassium: 90mg (3%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 251IU (5%)Calcium: 166mg (17%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
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