Julishka Pie (Juliška Pita)

Julishka (read Yuleeshkah) is a very rich desert, loved and made for at least 60 years in Bosnia and practically all regions of Ex-Yugoslavia. It’s a classic, it never fails to surprise one’s taste buds, it is delectable! I usually make it for the holidays and my husband’s birthday since it’s his favorite desert. Julishka is entirely made from scratch and the process requires some time, but the end result is just pure joy!

Ingredients:                                                                              Printable version

  • 1 pack of Puff Pastry Sheets (thawed)
  • 1 cup (200 g sugar)
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 5 eggs (divided)
  • 6 oz (175 g) good chocolate* 50-60% cocoa
  • 1 3/4 (100 g) finely ground walnuts
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) milk
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 10 1/2 tbsp (150 g) unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
  • 2 packs vanilla sugar (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 tbsp confectioners sugar (for dusting)

Also needed: 9X13 in baking pan

1. Roll out both sheets of puff pastry on a lightly flour dusted surface to the size of the 9X13 in baking pan (or just a bit larger). Bake the 1st sheet on the pan turned up-side down for 10 minutes at 365 F or until nice golden color. Let it cool down for few minutes and carefully cut it into rectangles (to get about 25 pieces, make 4 cuts vertically and 4 horizontally).

2. Bake the 2nd sheet for 5 minutes at 350 F. It just needs to be half done. Set aside.

3. For the dough divide eggs. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm, set aside. In a stand mixer mix 5 yolks, 1 cup of sugar and vanilla until pale yellow and smooth. Melt chocolate in a hot water bath, add to yolk mixture and mix by hand (collage photos 1 & 2). Fold in ground walnuts and egg whites at the end.

4. Place the half done puff pastry sheet into the baking pan and pour the dough on the top of it (see collage photo 3). Bake at 375 F about 20- 30 minutes or until firm to touch. Let it cool down completely.

5. For the frosting base whisk 5 tbsp flour and 1/4 milk until smooth. Lightly boil 1 cup of milk and with constant mixing add the flour mixture to  it. Mix until it becomes thick, then take it off the stove and cool down.

6. Mix sugar, vanilla and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add it to the completely cooled down frosting base and again mix well to combine.

7. Spread the frosting onto the top of the pie (see collage photo 4), arrange all the puff pastry rectangles that you’ve previously cut (collage photo 5). Dust with confectioners sugar (collage photo 6), cover with aluminium foil and leave it in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.

Before serving, cut into the sizes of your prearranged rectangles and voila… Enjoy!

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Lazy Apple Pie

For some time now, my daughter has been asking me to make an apple pie. Honestly, I have never made a pie, not apple or any other kind, at least not what in the U.S. one would call a pie.

Pie dough I made numerous times, but always for some different desert such as a tart, a galette or similar. I guess, I just hang too tight on my European/Bosnian strings and have not yet found inspiration or courage to tackle the Pie Challenge. So, today I went for a, what is in Bosnia known as a Lazy Pie, because it really is almost effortless and the results are more than satisfying. Instead of all white flour, I used some rye flour too, for a richer taste. The real pie will have to wait for that special moment of inspiration…

THIS PIE TRULY MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH!!!

Dough:

  • 1 2/3 cup (215 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (43 g) rye flour
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 10 1/2 tbsp (150 g) unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 lemon (zest)
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • pinch of salt
Filling:
  • 35 oz (1 kg) apples (peeled and shredded)
  • 6 tbsp (75 g) sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • handful of raisins (soaked in mixture of 1/3 cup rum and 1/3 cup water)
1.  For the dough combine white flour, rye flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Mix well. Add butter, sour cream and egg yolk and mix for few minutes to form a firm dough ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for about 45 minutes.
2. While the dough is resting, soak the raisins in rum/water mixture. Next, peel apples, and coarsely shred them (don’t worry if they are turning brown). Add sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon and raisins. Set aside.
3. Grease a 9×11 inch baking pan, sprinkle with flour. Take the dough out of the fridge and divide in two. Dust your working surface with flour, roll the dough into an 9×11 in square. Roll it carefully back onto the rolling pin, transfer to the pan and unroll.
4. Spread all the filling onto the dough. Repeat the same with the second piece of the dough and place it on the top of the filling. Poke the top with a fork in about 10 places, so moisture can escape during baking.
5. Bake at 400 F (200 C) about 40 minutes. Cool completely, dust with powder sugar, cut into 1×3 in squares and serve.
Enjoy!