Crisp fried pastry filled with a creamy spiced rose filling and covered in lots of icing sugar make bourekia me anari a favourite sweet dessert in Cyprus and Greece.
WHAT ARE BOUREKIA ME ANARI
Bourekia are small hand pies made from a thin phyllo type pastry that crisps up beautifully when fried. You can fill them with whatever you like sweet or savory. ‘Me anari’ means ‘with anari’ so these bourekia are going to be a traditional sweet version.
Boureki me anari is a traditional sweet version filled with anari cheese, cinnamon, sugar and rose water.
WHAT IS ANARI CHEESE
Anari is a tradition Cypriot cheese made from the whey, by product of halloumi. It is mades from sheep’s and goat’s milk and comes in a few varieties:
When making bourekia me anari you need to use soft unsalted anari. If you can’t find anari cheese you can also use ricotta cheese. You will notice the texture is a lot wetter if you use ricotta but the flavours are pretty similar.
HOW TO MAKE BOUREKIA ME ANARI
When making your bourekia always make your pastry first so as it rests you can use your time wisely and get your filling ready and all your equipment out.
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There are so many different shapes and ways you can make your bourekia. In my video below I show you how to make:
- Crescent shaped bourekia
- Circle Bourekia
- Square/Rectangle Bourekia
I like to make bourekia with my girls so I give each of them a different shape to make. This means we can all work together at the same time with different equipment and no one is arguing or waiting for a turn.
If you want to shape your bourekia into a crescent but don’t have a dumpling maker watch my bougatsa video here or go to my blog post here to see how I make them with a circle cutter and fork. If you don’t have a circle cutter you can also cut around a plate or a cup.
Bourekia me anari video https://youtu.be/f_pn3pv_zYA
Fill your pan with vegetable oil, about 5cm high or high enough to nearly cover your bourekia. To check if your oil is hot enough add a small piece of dough and when bubbles start bubbling around it add your bourekia.
Be careful when you add your bourekia to the oil and always place your boureki into the oil away from you.
- 350 g Plain flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 50 ml Vegetable oil
- 125 ml Water (warm)
- 250 g Anari cheese (soft, unsalted)
- 1/4 cup Caster Sugar
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Rose water
- 1 cup Icing sugar
- Sieve 350g of plain flour into a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of salt and 50 ml of vegetable oil and rub everything together with your hands until it looks like big breadcrumbs. (Watch my video below to see what it should look like)
- Add 125ml of warm water and knead everything together until you have a smooth ball of pastry. This should take about 10 minutes (If you are finding kneading hard read my tips below)
- Cover your dough with cling film and leav it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes
- Add 250g anari cheese to a bowl and mash it up with a fork
- To your anari add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp rose water and stir everything together
- Line a tray or large plate with baking paper
- Get a piece of your pastry and wrap the rest back up in clingfilm to stop it drying out
- Roll your pastry out so it is between 2-3mm thick
- Cut a circle with a cutter or dumpling cutter. Place your circle of dough on top of your cutter. Add a teaspoon of your filling to the centre and fold your cutter closed. Open and place your boureki on your prepared tray or plate. Repeat this process until all your bourekia are made. If you don't have a dumpling maker you can still achieve the crescent shape with a a cutter and a fork watch my bougatsa video here to see
- Cut an even amount of circles with your cutter. Add a teaspoon of your anari filling to the center. Place a circle of pastry on top. Press a fork around the circumference of your circle to seal your filling in and then place on your prepared tray and repeat
- Add 1 teaspoon of filling to the centre of your pastry starting on the left and adding a spoon of filling next to it in a line. Leave a few CMS between each. Fold the top half of your pastry over your filling and cut between each to create squares or rectangles. Watch my video below to see how. Place your bourekia on your prepared tray and repeat
- Before you fry, get everything ready. A dish lined with kitchen paper and your serving dish or plate
- Fill your pan with vegetable oil, about 5cm high or high enough to nearly cover your bourekia. To check if your oil is hot enough add a small piece of dough and when bubbles start bubbling around it add your bourekia
- Be careful and add your bourekia away from you. Fry for about 4-5 minutes or until the pastry starts to turn golden brown, then turn them over so they can cook on the other side.
- Take your bourekia out when they are lightly golden and let them drain on the kitchen roll for a few minutes
- Continue frying the rest of your bourekia and move your drained bourekia onto your serving dish before you add a new batch of freshly fried bourekia, so they don't get soggy
- When all of your bourekia are cooked let them cool for a few minutes then sprinkle over with lots of icing sugar, Make sure your bourekia are not too hot or your icing sugar will melt into your pastry
- Enjoy with a cup of Greek Cypriot coffee click here for the recipe
- If you can't find anari cheese you can substitute it with ricotta cheese.
- If you are making a double batch or you are finding kneading a little hard, seperate your dough into smaller portions, knead each piece separately then add all your pieces back together for one final knead.