How To Make Turkish Borek With Pumpkin

This is a regional recipe for börek pastry from the Bilecik province in midwestern Turkey, a notable producer of excellent quality chickpeas, quince, and walnuts. Most notoriously, Söğüt, a town in the province of Bilecik is the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire, established in 1299.
This savory delicacy, a flaky amalgam of pie and tart, is typically made in the wintertime from seasonally available pumpkins. The particular strain of Turkish kabak, or pumpkin produces large, bluish gray green fruits which are quite different in appearance from the ubiquitous, orange, North American variety.
The flavor is amplified with the addition of balsamic vinegar or pomegranate sour (whichever you have on hand) and caramelized onions, a little deviation from the classic recipe.

Things you will need:

3 red onions
2 kilo of fresh pumpkin
3 Tbs sugar (set aside)
sunflower oil

Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius

yufka dough

3 cups flour
lukewarm water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sunflower oil

Mix all ingredients to create a dough, then turn out on a floured surface, adding more flour as needed so that dough can be kneaded. Knead for about 5 minutes, then let sit covered for 4 hrs at room temperature, or refrigerate overnight.

Roast your pumpkin pieces in the oven, and while you are doing that, slice three red onions and caramelize in butter until light brown and soft. Add a dash of balsamic or pomegranate sour, let it cook off, season with salt and black pepper, then turn off the heat.
When your pumpkin has finished roasting, (it will look caramelized on the sides, and be fork tender) take it out, slice it finely with a knife, and season well with salt and pepper.

Open up the yufka dough and divide into fist sized balls (keep the ones not being used covered). Roll out a ball until it is the size of a large dinner plate, brush with oil and set aside. Roll out another ball, and place atop the first one, then rub it generously with sunflower oil again. Do this until all your balls are done and stacked up. Roll out the stack so that it’s about 1/2 inch thick or so.

Place dough on parchment lined baking tray, trimming edges as necessary. Spread the pumpkin evenly over the dough (it’s supposed to be very wet) and top with  and caramelized onion, pressing it into the pumpkin. Sprinkle sugar evenly over top. Bake for about 45 minutes.

Traditionally accompanied by a plate of pickled summer vegetables, and hearty enough to sub in as a ‘Meatless Monday’ dinner if you add a bowl of soup.

–basic recipe courtesy of my Turkish Mother-In-Law

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Megan

Coffee. Beer. Climbing Tall Things.

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