Bourekia

Deep-Fried Cream Cheese & Cinnamon Pastries

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These are normally made with anari cheese, but you can use ricotta or a smooth cream cheese or something else similar. These deep-fried pastries are scattered with icing sugar and are best eaten warm.

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 250 g (9 oz) cake flour or plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 70 g ( oz) cold butter, diced
  • finely grated rind of 1 small lemon

Filling

  • 200 g (7 oz) ricotta or smooth cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 25 g (1 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • light olive oil, for deep-frying
  • icing (confectioners’) sugar, to serve

Method

To make the pastry, put the flour and butter in a large bowl with a pinch of salt. Mix in, sifting and working it through your fingers until it forms large crumbs. Add 5 tablespoons water and the lemon rind and knead gently and quickly with your hands until the dough just comes together in a mass. Knead for 20–30 seconds or until smooth. Take care not to overwork the dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave for about 1 hour in a cool (but not cold) place.

To make the filling, mix the ricotta or cream cheese with the cinnamon, orange blossom water and caster sugar. Refrigerate until needed.

Roll out the pastry very thinly. Cut rounds of about 8 cm (3 inches), using a biscuit cutter or sharp-rimmed glass. Put a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of each round. Wet your finger with a little water and run it around the edge of the pastry, then fold it over into a half moon. Press the edge to make sure it is sealed.

Keep all the pastries on a tray dusted with flour until you are ready to fry them. Fill a saucepan or deep-fat fryer one-third full of oil and heat up for deep-frying. Fry the pastries a few at a time for 30–40 seconds, turning them around until they are golden. Lift them out with tongs onto a tray lined with kitchen paper to drain off the oil. Arrange on a serving plate, dust very generously with icing sugar and serve immediately.