Winter is knocking on the door of the Northern Hemisphere, and winter holidays are approaching. We will give you some ideas in upcoming weeks for enriching your feasts with genuine Serbian specialties. They are easy to make, very tasty and they have great stories behind. So, let’s start with Serbian warm appetizers…
Serbian Pie Queen – Gibanica
Gibanica /ghee-bun-eetsa/ is Serbian cheese pie, crispy on the outside, juicy inside, excellent choice for any occasion. It got its name by the shape and texture: golden-brown, limber – hence the name: Serbian „gibak“ means „limber“… This is one of the easiest pies to make, hence the most popular on our tables. It is widely spread throughout Serbia, and there are many different ways to make it. However, its rich taste is always the same and so alluring that one cannot stop asking for more.
For gibanica you will need following ingredients:
• 500 g or 1,1 pounds filo pastry
• 2 dl or 4/5 cups mineral sparkling water
• 2 dl or 4/5 cups yoghurt
• 1,5 dl or 2/3 cups vegetable oil
• 500 g or 1,1 pounds white cow cheese or farmer cheese
• 5 eggs
• 2 ½ teaspoons salt (you can add or subtract the amount of salt depending on saltiness of cheese and your own preferences)
Preheat you oven to 200°C or 390°F. Put the following ingredients in a large bowl and mix: cheese, 2 teaspoons of salt, mineral water, 1 dl (½ cup) of oil, yoghurt and 4 eggs. Mix it thoroughly until you get an even mass. Smear the baking dish with a little bit of vegetable oil, so the pie wouldn’t stick. Take the sheet of filo pastry and dip it into the cheese mixture, squeeze it gently into a rumple and line it into the baking dish. Repeat the procedure until you’re out of filo pastry.
If you’re using thinner filo pastry, you can use double sheets for dipping. If you wish to make it genuine and more attractive, you can even wrap the pastry in spirals. Take the rest of the cheese mixture, add 1 egg and the rest of vegetable oil and salt, mix it and pour it evenly over the wrapped filo pastry.
Put gibanica in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes. You’ll know its done when the crust gets beautiful golden-brown color. After gibanica is baked take it out of the oven and leave for a few minutes to cool down. If you made spirals – you can take them out of the dish like that – it will be beautiful to see. If not, you can cut the pie into squares or triangles and serve it like that.
Now, enjoy! We prefer yoghurt or buttermilk with our piece of gibanica. Let us know if you found anything better to get along with our cheese pie, OK?
Writen by Petar Živić / Serbia Incoming DMC Project Manager