Our sister-in-law Diana comes from Romania, her grandma makes a lot of different cheeses and other good stuff. Sometimes they bring some of it to the Netherlands so we can enjoy it too. For this recipe, we used a cheese that’s called “brânza de burduf”, sheep’s milk cheese. A little bit stronger in taste and lightly salted in comparison to the cheese we used in the recipe for lemon pastries. The original name of this pastry is “placinta cu branza si aluat foietaj” which basically means “cheese in dough” or “cheese pie”. You can easily make this recipe with any kind of fresh cheese, like ricotta.
- 350 gram fresh cheese such as ricotta, in Romania they use “brânza de burduf”
- 8 square sheets or 1 large sheet puff pastry
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons sugar + extra
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
Kitchen equipment needed
- medium-sized bowl
- silicone kitchen brush
- round spring form with parchment paper
Preparation — 10 minutes
Make sure the puff pastry sheets or defrosted and if you use small square sheets, you can create one big sheet by sticking them together with a bit of water. Make a rectangle with 2 squares high and 4 squares wide. CRUMBLE the cheese if needed and combine with 3 eggs, sugar, vanilla sugar and extract until it’s a smooth mixture.
PRE-HEAT the oven to 180 degrees celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line the spring form’s bottom with parchment paper.
Finishing up the vanilla cake with Romanian cheese — 40 minutes
DIVIDE the cheese mixture over the puff pastry sheet, it should be a thin layer. FOLD the bottom gently upward to the center and then also fold the top to the middle. Let the pastry overlap slightly so the roll will be closed. The ends will still be open at this point.
TRANSFER the package onto the prepared round parchment paper and place the pastry in a circle so the ends will touch each other, leaving a hole in the middle. CLOSE the package by sticking the ends together with a bit of water. Use a fork to poke holes in the top of the puff pastry.
BEAT the 4th egg and coat the top of the pastry with the egg. FINISH with a layer of sugar and BAKE in the oven for about half an hour, or until beautiful golden brown. Enjoy!