Feta Cheese & Mint Börek

April 29th, 2007  | Category: Breakfast and Brunch, Pastry, Turkish Cuisine, Vegetarian

Börek

Börek is a traditional Turkish layered dough dish, generally filled with cheese, ground meat or vegetables. The most popular fillings are feta cheese, spinach, potatoes and ground meat flavored with a variety of herbs and spices.

The dough, called yufka in Turkish, is quite labor-intensive. Not many Turkish households attempt to prepare it themselves. They are sold in 3-5 sheet packs in supermarkets here. Yufka is essential for you to prepare this dish. Never ever substitute it for thin phyllo; it will not be the same. Phyllo is super thin and it will get too crispy in the oven. You may find yufka at your local Middle Eastern deli, but if not, you can also buy it from Amazon – click here. Or you can buy it here.

The traditional yufka sold in Turkey measures about 40-50 cm in diameter. If that is not the case with your batch, just don’t forget to lay them a little wrinkled. Do not stretch.

Börek 2

Aside from yufka, you would need the following:

Feta Cheese & Mint Börek Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 yufkas
  • 2 cups of feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup of fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 6 tbsp butter

Method

Preheat your oven to 350F.

First, crack the egg in a bowl, add the milk and whisk to combine well. This is your egg wash to prevent the layers from drying out. In a food processor, combine feta cheese and mint leaves and pulse to combine. Transfer it in a bowl and set aside.

Börek 3

I used a fluted tart pan for this. You can also use a rectangular oven pan as well. Butter the pan and lay your first yufka in the pan. The first layer should be twice the size of the pan as we will be wrapping everything once the filling and other layers are finished. Brush the layer generously with the egg wash. Tear the second layer of yufka in half and spread it on top of the bottom layer. Brush generously with the egg wash again.

Börek 3

Now, spread half of the filling on top of this layer. Cut 2 tbsp of butter into small cubes and scatter on the layer. Lay the second half of the second layer of yufka on top of the filling and brush with the egg wash again. Then goes in the remaining filling. Cut 2 tbsp of butter into small cubes and scatter on this layer as well. Tear the last piece of yufka in half and spread over the second layer of filling. Brush with the egg wash.

Börek 4

Now we will start folding it. As you start to fold make sure to brush the top and bottom part of the final layer. This will help the top layer to glue tightly together. Once it is folded completely, brush the top with the egg wash again.

At this point, you can sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Cut 2 tbsp of butter into small cubes and scatter on top again.

Put your börek in the center rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The top will get a golden color and will dry out, but the inner layers will be soft and creamy. Cool for 20 minutes before serving.

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Comments

  1. 1 - valentina on April 30th, 2007

    I love feta. I would definitely love trying this dish as feta pairs up with my beloved spinach. I wasnt aware of Yukfa. Only philo. I will read dolly’s post to learn a bit more about this dish. I was wondering if the yukfa doesn’t dry out a bit whilst exposed. Philo wastes no time in becoming really dry!! As usual your photos are spectacular.

  2. 2 - Patricia Scarpin on April 30th, 2007

    I love the way the dough is folded, Cenk – it looks beautiful and delicious!

  3. 3 - Ari (Baking and Books) on May 1st, 2007

    Not only are the photos gorgeous but I love the way they show how to make this recipe step by step. And of course, the recipe itself looks oh so tempting with that combo of feta and mint.

  4. 4 - Linda, The Village Vegetable on May 1st, 2007

    wow this looks delicious. thanks for the step-by-step photographs – Lord knows i’ll need it. and i’m a visual learner… this look amazing! i can’t wait to try it! i’m soo into tarts right now.

  5. 5 - Cenk on May 1st, 2007

    Valentina – Since you apply the soaking mixture (egg and milk) to each layer, inside does not dry out.

  6. 6 - Cenk on May 1st, 2007

    Thanks to everyone for their nice comments. Since this is not something you see every day, I thought step-by-step pics would help. Enjoy!

  7. 7 - kate on May 4th, 2007

    thanks for the step by step demo of the recipe…its really helpful.Now i’ll definately try this.

  8. 8 - Semiha on February 24th, 2008

    Cenk, your blog is wonderful and I love just looking at your pictures. The borek looks delicious too. Using mint is an interesting variation, since I’m used to the parsley version. I might try it in a smaller batch though, just in case.

  9. 9 - alis walters` on May 25th, 2008

    Can you please advise me where I can order YUFKA
    in the US. I am from Turkey and would like to make
    borek. Don’t care for PHILO dough.

    Thank you,
    Alis Walters

  10. 10 - Cenk on May 27th, 2008

    Alis – Check out the two links in the post. You can buy it from Amazon or bestturkishfood.com.

  11. 11 - folkmann.ca » Blog Archive » Feta & parsley borek on June 2nd, 2008

    [...] recipe by Cafe Fernando – Feta cheese and Mint Borek (they have great [...]

  12. 12 - Maya on July 12th, 2008

    Cenk, your blog is fantastic. Perfect way to put wonderful Turkish food in the spotlight.

    Did you manage to find yufka at any of the San Francisco stores?

  13. 13 - Cenk on July 12th, 2008

    Thanks you Maya! Janet’s article has some information on where to find yufka, both online and in California. Check it out here (near the end).

  14. 14 - Lavonda Shipley on March 27th, 2010

    I picked up a package of yufka at the Middle Eastern grocery yesterday. I’d never seen it before. I have all the ingredients I need to make this recipe. It looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it out tomorrow!

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