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Monday, 30 August 2010

Tikvenic Tikva Banitsa or Pumpkin Pie


Or Tikva Banitsa. There are so many variations on Pumpkin pie but by far the tastiest for me has been the village Tikva Banitsa.
Pumpkins are another veggie grown in most village properties. Great big patches of green lilly pads (thats what they look like) in the summer crawling across the ground up & along fences & in the grape vines with little peeps of orange poking through then in the autumn as the leaves die down you are treated to their secrets with nobly crooked or perfect round bodies littering the mud floors. Beautiful orange green & yellows all shapes & sizes, all squash here are called by one name, not like us who have lots of names for different varieties. This year I have grown the orange round pumpkins as a trial I managed to get 12 decent size fruits lots were lost or came to nothing. Next year I plan on many more & different varieties too, all very exciting for a novice like me. I am particularly proud as I grew mine from seeds of the pumkins I cooked with last year. My favourite thing to cook with them is soup & scones but banitza is my next recipe to perfect! So much more to the humble pumpkin than a haloween lantern, just what have I been missing all these years! & please if you are in America stop buying the canned junk use fresh!!!!

I have been given two recipes. One a scrap of paper where I have scribbled ingredients & a get on with it attitude which I was about to do. The other a new friend has sent me a recipe from a Bulgarian cook book with the oven times & temps on, so I am combining the two & this is my Tikva Banitsa!
I dare say this will be changed & variated over the years & there are many Banitsa's out there including a no pastry Banitsa I am determined to make but I need the round Banitsa tin as it's a well runny affair!

Filo Pastry
Sunflower oil or melted butter
Pumpkin chopped into small chunks
8 - 10 oz Sugar to taste Brown if you have it, if you do use less of it.
5 oz Walnuts chopped
1 tbsp Cinnamon
Honey optional drizzle it over each layer

Oil pie tin well

Cook the pumpkin in a little water or steam till soft, drain it well push out some of the excess water
Mash the pumpkin then add the sugar & cinnamon & cook together over a very low heat stirring till all the water has gone.
Add the walnuts to pumpkin & mix it through well.
Layer the filo pastry & mixture oiling the filo on each layer don’t forget to drizzle with honey if you are using it!

end with a layer of filo & oil the top.

Cook in a pre heated oven 220c 425f till slightly brown then
180c 350f for 40-50 mins
Fan oven 200c then 160c

I cooked this today & got the thumbs up from my neighbours in fact they wolfed it down, so it must compare very well :D

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