Making your own water pastry for this Turkish savoury slice helps keep it light and crisp, with a gorgeous golden top.
- 8 kale leaves
- 1 bunch flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- 3 garlic shoots (or 1 garlic clove)
- 1 heaped tbsp plain yoghurt
- 250 g (9 oz) hard feta
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp salt
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) strong flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 300 g (10 oz) butter
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.
1. Put the kale in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 30 seconds, then plunge in cold water. Remove the white stalks and finely chop the leaves.
2. Discard the parsley stalks and finely chop the leaves. Finely chop the garlic shoots (or crush the garlic) and mix in a bowl with the yoghurt and chopped kale. Crumble the feta into the mixture.
3. Whisk the eggs in a deep mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of water and the salt. Sift the flour into the bowl and mix well. Knead for 10 minutes, or until the mixture becomes a hard dough. Dust your work surface with extra flour and divide the dough into eleven balls. Dust the dough with flour and let it rest in a bowl, covered with a damp cloth, for 15 minutes.
4. Flour a board and, using a thin rolling pin, roll each ball into a 30 cm (12 in) wide round. (Turning the dough on the work surface 90 degrees at a time will ensure a circular pastry.) You can stack the eleven sheets while you do the next step, but be sure to scatter plenty of flour between the sheets so they don’t stick together.
5. Pour the olive oil into a large non-stick frying pan and brush to coat. (The pan should be at least 25 cm/10 in across and 10 cm/4 in deep.) Warm the butter in a small saucepan.
6. Fill a deep saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Using a thin rolling pin or the handle of a long wooden spoon, lift one round of dough at a time and dunk it into the boiling water for 2 minutes. Lift out and pat dry on a clean cloth. Repeat with the remaining rounds of dough.
7. Place a round of dough in the large oiled non-stick frying pan and brush with butter. Slice around it to remove any overlap, and scatter the sliced-off bits on top of it. Place another dough round loosely on top, and brush with butter. Continue to stack to make six layers. Spread the kale and cheese mixture on the sixth layer, then continue to stack another four buttered layers. Cut the final (eleventh) layer to fit as a round over the top (discarding any leftover pastry). Pour the remaining butter on top.
8. Place the pan over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, constantly tilting the pan to prevent the bottom layer sticking. Place a large plate over the frying pan and, with one hand on the plate and the other hand on the handle, upend the pastry onto the plate.
9. Brush the inside of the pan again with olive oil and slide the upturned börek into the pan - with the cooked layer now on top. Cook for 8 minutes.
10. Cut across the börek to make four quarters (with one wedge per person). Serve in the pan, with glasses of ayran to accompany the meal.
Recipe from Anatolia by Somer Sivrioglu and David Dale (Murdoch Books, $79.99, hbk). Photography by Bree Hutchins.