If you love syrupy baklava then this is the dessert tray for you! Ruzice gets its name because once you cut and turn the layered pastry pieces onto a tray they resemble the rose bud. Traditionally, these are made with walnut and tirit filling but if you are running low on time you can skip the tirit and use only walnuts as your filler, this works just as well. The combination of butter and oil between your pastry sheets ensures the pastry remains crisp during the baking process.
This dessert is a syrup lover's dream and is best served with black kahva to balance out the sweetness. Don't be shy, you can most definitely get spooning straight from the pan.
- 500 g good-quality walnuts, finely ground
- 375 g (1 packet) purchased filo pastry (20 sheets)
- 100 g butter, diced
- 160 ml (⅔ cup) vegetable oil, plus extra to grease
- 880 g (4 cups) white granulated sugar
- 1 L (4 cups) water
- 20 whole cloves
Tirit (crumb, see Baker's tips)
- 250 g (1⅔ cup) plain flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 50 g butter, melted and cooled slightly
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You can make this recipe one day in advance.
Cooling time 1 hour
Soaking time 45 minutes or overnight
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Lightly grease a large round shallow tin (about 40 cm in diameter) (see Baker’s tips).
To make the tirit, place the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolk and butter and use your fingers to stir until evenly combined and then use your fingertips to remove any large lumps and create a fine, evenly–sized crumb mixture (see Baker's Tips).
Toast the tirit in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 5-8 minutes or until very pale golden and aromatic (see Baker’s Tips). Return the warm tirit to the large bowl and break up any lumps with your fingertips (see Baker’s Tips). Set aside to cool.
Add ground walnuts to the tirit and use your finger tips to combine evenly (see Baker’s Tips). Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove form heat and cool slightly. Add the oil to the warm butter and stir to combine.
Lay the filo pastry sheets in a stack on the benchtop and over with a dry tea towel and then a damp tea towel. Take one filo pastry sheet and place on a cutting board. Use a teaspoon to drizzle a little of the butter mixture over and then use the back of the spoon to spread evenly. Take a good handful of the tirit/walnut mixture and sprinkle over the filo making sure it is distributed evenly. Repeat with three more layers of filo, butter mixture and tirit/walnut mixture and then finish with a sheet of filo.
Starting from a long end, roll up the layers carefully and tightly making sure you don’t tear the pastry and keeping the tirit/walnut mixture in the centre. Use a large sharp knife to cut the log into pieces about 2.5 cm wide (take care when cutting to ensure pastry and filling stays in tact) and then arrange on the greased tin, packing them tightly (you will get about 16 pieces from each roll). Repeat with the remaining filo, butter mixture and tirit /walnut mixture to make 3 more rolls, packing the slices tightly in the tin (see Baker's Tips).
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden and the pastry is cooked through. Place a folded tea towel over the ruzice to cover the surface and set aside until cooled completely (this will take about 1 hour).
To make the syrup, combine the sugar, water and cloves in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to boil and then reduce the heat to low (no lid), for 30 minutes or until the syrup thickens slightly, reduces to about 900 ml and is slightly amber in colour.
Pour the cool syrup over the hot ruzice until covered. Set aside to cool (this will take about 45 minutes and the longer you leave it the more the syrup will absorb).
The ruzice will keep well covered at room temperature in a cool spot or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Serve cold or at room temperature.
• A large deep pizza tray or shallow enamel tray will work well for baking the ruzice. Alternatively, you can bake it in two 16 cm x 26 cm shallow slice tins.
• The tirit crumb is optional for a more textural centre. if you are time poor and want a quicker filling then you can use only the ground walnuts, which will work just as well.
• You can also bake the tirit crumb. Spread the crumbs unevenly onto a non-stick baking tray and bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until pale golden and aromatic.
• Make sure the tirit crumb mixture is fine.To achieve this, press spoonfuls of the mixture together with your hands into a rough ball and then rub the ball against the fine (small) shredding holes of a grater to form it into a meal-like consistency.
• The tirit and ground walnut mixture can be made up to 1 month ahead of using. Keep in an airtight jar or container in the fridge.
• It is important to keep the ruzice tight and completely fill your pan so that the syrup can easily be absorbed.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.
For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: Bosnian baking.