Bulgarian pumpkin banitza (or banitsa) is also known as tikvenik and is a dessert version of savory cheese banitzi made with flaky filo dough and either fresh or canned pumpkin. Other sweet fillings include apple and walnut. This is a popular dessert served with strong Turkish coffee.
Click here for a larger image of pumpkin banitza.
- 1 (2-pound) pie pumpkin, peeled and seeded, or 1 (1-pound) can pumpkin puree
- 4 ounces (1 stick) butter plus 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 16 sheets filo dough, thawed
Grate pumpkin. Melt 4 ounces butter in large saucepan and add pumpkin and sugar, cooking until pumpkin is tender. Let cool and add walnuts and cinnamon.
If using canned pumpkin, transfer to a bowl and add sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon, mixing well.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Fold one sheet filo dough in half so it measures 12 inches by 8 inches. Brush lightly with melted butter.
Portion out a 1/2-inch strip of filling along either the 12-inch edge if you want an "S"-shaped scroll, or along the 8-inch edge for a cigar-shaped roll and 1/4 inch away from the edges. Fold up bottom edge first, then sides and then roll away from yourself until you have a tight cylinder. Brush lightly with more melted butter.
Repeat with remaining 15 sheets of filo dough. Shape long cylinders into "S" shapes or leave short cylinders as is and place them on a parchment-lined pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature.