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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It's pita time!

...but not one you might think!

Hi everyone,
hope your summer is going well!

You see, in my motherland, Serbia, anything called pita is made with phyllo pastry sheets. It's used for either sweet (apples, cherries, pumpkin...) or savory (cheese, meat, spinach...) and any one of  them is really not hard to make!

Have you ever tried using phyllo pastry sheets?

I made a fruit one recently and took photos (I was actually Instagram-ing it as I made it!) so decided to share with you this easy recipe, that evokes childhood and nostalgia for me, but its also yummy and easy! Here is how it looks at the end:


Here is what you will need: (photo shows it all)
- package of Phyllo Pastry sheets (it's really helpful if you leave the box on room temperature before use! That way they don't moisten from condensation (once opened) and don't stick together)
- sugar
- oil (vegetable oil is fine)
- bread crumbs (non-seasoned)
- shredded apples, about 6-8 (I usually do it with apples but this time I used shredded quince that I had frozen and also sour cherries (also had them frozen from last year). Whatever fruit you use, put it in colander to drain, that is important!
- chopped walnuts (optional!)


Step 1:
Take phyllo sheets, open the package and lay them out flat. They are very thin and can dry out fast (and crumble!) so I cover mine with piece of plastic foil. Lay a piece of aluminum foil out (as big as sheets) as your work surface. Take one phyllo sheet, brush with oil, lay another on top, brush with oil and third too, brush with oil (photo above) - that is your phyllo stack for every roll you make. And that is really the basis for ANY type of phyllo you want to make.
Sprinkle a good heaping tablespoon of bread crumbs all over (they serve to absorb moisture from fruit, otherwise it would all be too soggy!)


Step 2: After you sprinkled bread crumbs, lay out (sprinkle) your shredded fruit. NOTE: if its apples, grab about a handful, SQUEEZE OUT EXCESS MOISTURE and then sprinkle all over. Same if its cherries too. Here, I also sprinkled some chopped walnuts, since I like them! :)
 Amount of fruit is up to you, you can see below how much I used.


Step 3: After laying down the fruit and nuts, sprinkle with sugar - I use about a tablespoon and a half (since quince and cherries are tart), you can use more or less! Here you can also use some other spices, like cinnamon or nutmeg? I also like to use vanilla SUGAR (yes, sold in small pouches, Dr. Oetker brand. Maybe sprinkling some vanilla extract is OK too, I just love my vanilla sugar! :)  )


Rolling it up : Once you have all that - time to roll it up! This requires a bit of patience and gentleness since phyllo is thin (but having 3 layers does help a lot!). First fold the short sides, about an inch (to prevent leakage etc.)


And then gently roll it up along the longer side and place into a pre-oiled, large cookie sheet (ones with short sides, not just a sheet)


Here is how they all look rolled up and snug together! I can fit about 12 rolls into the large cookie sheet, they can be really snug together, they do separate once baked.
Once they are all in, brush them all with oil (cover all surfaces!) sprinkle some brown sugar and maybe even some leftover nuts (for a nice crunch!)


It goes in the oven, 350 -375 F, for about 35-45 minutes (until it is all golden brown)
And... VOILA!!


Once it cools down a bit, cut pieces with serrated knife, arrange on the plate and if desired, dust lightly with powder sugar ! (yes, I mix a bit of vanilla sugar into this one too)


So there you go! I hope you might be a game to try something new?

 I really LOVE adding a bit of sour cherries into the apples, it just adds so much flavor! My mom makes it with sour cherries ONLY (she looooves sour cherries!) and that is yummy too, although a bit more soggy if you ask me. That is why I prefer to combine them with apples.
Let me know what you think and definitely if you try it!

Otherwise, summer (official one) started lovely with a fabulous Father's Day spent with family! I wish my dad is still with us - he would LOVE these celebrations... Miss him so much.
But on the other side - watching our son, Stefan become a wonderful, loving father to our sweet Juliana - it is just the most wonderful, amazing, heart-filling thing!!
This is a chance photo my husband took the other day:


 JUST. PURE. LOVE.  My heart sings every time I see it!

In my quilting life -  I am excited to start teaching in yet another lovely local quilt shop, Aurora Sewing Center! They have a lovely, large classroom and everything in it that you might want!


We started last night with Woven Whispers!
I know its silly, but I just got so excited seeing my pattern hanging among all others on the wall!


And if you wondered what's new with my lovely boy, Marley - he got a royal beauty treatment on Sunday - a bath complete with conditioner (new, all natural stuff mom got for him!) and brushing after! He was such a good boy too (you guessed - bath is NOT his favorite thing, but done by his favorite guy, our son Vuk and his lovely girlfriend Leah - it was OK!). Marley's bath and a complete, detailed car wash for OUR car, was part of the Father's Day gift from our son and his girlfriend - JUST AWESOME! 


So here we are again - rolling in the grass and playing! This photo was taken by my husband, who I am soooo happy to say is starting to remember that he has that great camera in his brand new iPhone 6 - hoorayyyy!!!


I just love this picture!

Off I go to try and sew some tonight.

What are you doing these days? What is on your cutting table or in your sewing machine?

Happy summertime,

Marija

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