Cheese Bourekas

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

2 sheets puff pastry (you can also use filo dough, click here for directions using filo)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup kashkaval cheese (or substitute another 1/3 cup feta)
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
Salt and pepper
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp. sesame or poppy seeds for topping (optional)
Nonstick cooking oil spray

You will also need
2 large baking sheets, rolling pin, 2 small mixing bowls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine feta, kashkaval, ricotta, egg, a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper (if using all feta cheese, no need to add any salt). Use a fork to mix ingredients together till well blended. Make sure to break up any large crumbles of feta with the fork. Reserve mixture.

On a smooth, clean, lightly floured surface, unfold one of your puff pastry sheets. Use a rolling pin to roll out the sheet to a 12x12 inch square. If using homemade puff pastry, roll your dough out to the same size - a 12"x12" square. Cut the sheet of puff pastry dough into 9 equal-sized squares, each about 4"x4" large.

Place 1 scant tablespoon of the cheese filling in the center of each dough square.  Fold the dough squares by grasping one corner and folding it over to the opposite corner to make triangles. Pinch firmly along the outer open edge of the triangles to seal. You can also crimp the edges with the tines of a fork, if you wish.

Repeat this process for the second sheet of puff pastry-roll out the pastry, cut into squares, add filling, and seal the triangles.

Spray your baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Place 9 bourekas on each sheet, evenly spaced, giving them some room to expand during baking.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and 2 teaspoons of cool water. Use a pastry brush to brush a light layer of the egg wash onto the surface of each boureka. Sprinkle the bourekas with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired.

Bake the bourekas for about 30 minutes, switching the baking sheets between the upper and lower racks halfway through cooking. Bake till golden brown and cooked through. Serve warm. Store in a sealed container or plastic zipper bag.

To freeze bourekas: Prepare, fill, and seal the pastries. Do not coat with egg wash or bake. Place the unbaked pastries in a Tupperware or plastic bag in single layers, separating each layer of bourekas with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to keep them from freezing together.

When ready to bake, take the bourekas out of the freezer (no need to defrost) and arrange them on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick oil. Coat with thin layer of egg wash and sesame or poppy seeds, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 30 minutes ==> Total yime: 45 minutes

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