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The joy of Christmas cooking…

Christmas cooking is something I look forward every year, that is if I get to cook after all as the competition is usually humongous! Somehow during Christmas everybody wants to become a chef and show off their skills, but this year (even though I had more freedom) I felt like not cooking at all. I just wanted to sit there and rather eat-talk-drink-eat-nap-talk…. how is that possible?

Anyway I had no other option… and I mostly proud of this pie I baked above. It is Slovenian apple, walnut and poppy seed pie. I first got introduced to this pie by this Slovenian friend Maja four years ago (she never gave me a recipe, I had to Google it)  and I really loved it! So there it goes…

SLOVENIAN PIE

For the strudel dough:

  • 300 g flour
  • 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar.
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing dough

(You can also substitute store-bought filo pastry but I went all the way as I my dad was shopping and I was worried he is going to get something else… but really recommend to just buy the thing as it is really difficult to roll home made dough)

For the fillings:
The poppy seed filling:

  • 400 g poppy seeds, ground with a mortar and pestle or very briefly whizzed in a food processor with the steel blade
  • 200 g sugar
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 240ml cup hot milk

The apple filling:

  • 500 g apples, grated
  • 200 g sugar
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 1 lemon rind, grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

The cottage cheese filling:

  • 500 g cottage cheese
  • 360ml Creme fraiche
  • 1 egg
  • 200 g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons raisins, soaked in rum
  • vanilla to taste

The walnut filling:

  • 500 g ground walnuts
  • 200 g sugar
  • cinnamon to taste

Topping: 1 cup sour cream

Separately for each filling, mix the ingredients well. Grease well (butter is best) a square or oblong ovenproof baking dish or pan.
For the strudel dough: Mix the ingredients in a bowl, knead thoroughly (ten minutes at least) and let stand to relax for one hour. Then roll out and cut into thin sheets the size of the baking container. (Alternately, purchase large sheets of filo pastry to suit your baking dish.)
Place a layer of strudel dough / filo pastry in the bottom of the baked dish. Brush lightly with melted butter. Spread half the poppy seed filling evenly over it. Cover this layer with another sheet of strudel dough and brush the dough with melted butter. Spread this layer with half the apple filling. Cover with another sheet of dough: brush with melted butter. Spread with half the cottage cheese filling: cover with a sheet of dough, brushing with melted butter. Spread with half the walnut filling: cover with dough and brush dough with melted butter.
Repeat this process with the remaining poppy seed filling, apple filling, cottage cheese filling and walnut filling, making sure to brush each layer of strudel dough with the melted butter as you proceed.
Top with a final layer of strudel dough: brush with melted butter. If you like, spread this last layer with 1 cup sour cream (thinned a little with milk, if necessary, to make it easier to spread).
Bake for about 1 hour in a medium oven (175C). Cut into squares and serve

BTW: This Pie is not only for Christmas so you can enjoy it any time!

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