Traditional Bulgarian Leek Pie

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This Bulgarian leek pie recipe is made entirely from scratch with homemade pastry sheets.

It contains a savory filling of leeks which are sauteed and seasoned with a mix of traditional Balkan spices that are nonetheless widely available in the US.

You can serve it for breakfast, use it as a snack or bring it to a large communal gathering such as a potluck.

A slice of Bulgarian leek pie

Traditional Bulgarian Leek Pie

Bulgarian leek pie is a traditional holiday dish that’s usually served during Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

It’s similar to the Bulgarian Banitsa, but it’s made with a filling of leek instead of cheese.

Most people today make it using phyllo pastry, but I prefer making it the classic way using homemade pastry sheets.

Homemade pastry sheets are thicker, taste more fresh and aren’t as brittle as phyllo pastry.

As you’ll see, kneading the dough and rolling it out isn’t as difficult as most people make it out.

You just need to gain some experience to get the knack of it.

Nevertheless, if you don’t want to make a mess out of your kitchen or you don’t have the time you can still use phyllo pastry.

Main ingredients

  • All purpose flour – This recipe is made with homemade pastry sheets so you’ll need about 2 pounds of all-purpose to whip up the dough. You can also use bread flour as a 1:1 substititution if you’re out of all-purpose flour.
  • Leeks – Leek is used as the main ingredient for the filling of the pie. It adds a spicy kick which uplifts the overall flavor of the pie.
  • Eggs – You’ll need 3 eggs for the dough and one egg for the egg wash you’ll use to brush the top of the pie. Don’t forget to check if your eggs have gone bad before using them.
  • Vinegar – The vinegar will loosen up the gluten strands in the dough and make it less chewy.
  • Seasonings – Тhe filling for the pie is seasoned with a simple spice mix of spearmint, salt and paprika. If you can’t find spearmint, you can use savory as an alternative.

Ingredients for Bulgarian leek pie

How to prepare

Check out the recipe card at the end of this article for detailed, step-by-step instructions.

Begin by sauteing the finely chopped leeks along with the seasonings in a deep frying pan over medium heat.

Set the sauteed leeks aside and crack three of the eggs in a glass bowl. Season the eggs with the salt, vinegar and vegetable oil, and start beating them with a wire whisk.

Chopped leek next to a pan of sauteed leekPour the water into the bowl and keep beating the eggs until they emulsify. Continue by gradually adding small amounts of flour to the mixture until you can start kneading the dough.

Transfer the dough on a flour dusted surface and knead until it becomes smooth as a baby’s butt.

Be gentle when you’re kneading the dough as overworking it will give it a tough texture.

Once you’re ready with the dough, you’ll need to divide it into six balls and let it proof for 15 minutes.

Then, you should take four of the dough balls and roll each ball into a 12 inch circular pastry sheet.

Each sheet needs to be baked in the oven until it becomes lightly golden on both sides.

Kneading dough for leek pie

After the sheets are done, you roll out another one from the remaining dough balls but this time with a diameter of 13 inches.

Place this sheet in a greased baking pan and cover it with some of the leek filling. Repeat this step with the remaining pastry sheets.

Spreading sauteed leek over the dough

Roll the last dough ball so it has a slightly larger diameter than your pan and use its edges to tuck the sides of the pie.

Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and bake for 45 minutes in an oven preheated to 350°F (180°C).

Fully cooked Bulgarian leek pie in a round baking pan

Storage

Similarly to the Bulgarian banitsa, leek pie is best served while it’s still warm.

However, you can safely store it in the refrigerator for up to a week and eat it whenever you desire.

All you need to do is let the pie cool down and transfer it into an airtight container before putting it in the fridge.

In case you want to store it for a longer period of time, you can freeze it and use it within 3 months.

A serving of three slices of Bulgarian leek pie

Try these next

If my Bulgarian pie seems appealing to you then you should absolutely try other recipes inspired by my Eastern European background like this Salad Cake, or my favorite Shredded Potato Casserole. Also, let’s not forget my family’s spin on the Pork and Sauerkraut!

a slice of bulgarian leek pie on a plate showing all the layers inside

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Traditional Bulgarian Leek Pie

This Bulgarian pie recipe is made with a savory filling of leek that's seasoned with traditional Balkan spices. You can make it with homemade pastry sheets or use phyllo dough.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
by: Aya
Servings: 8
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Balkan, bulgarian

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 lbs all purpose flour

For the filling

  • 28 oz leek
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp dried spearmint
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water

For brushing

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil for the pan
  • 1 egg for the pie

Instructions

  • Chop the leek and place it in a deep frying skillet.
  • Add the salt, paprika, spearmint, vegetable oil, and water.
  • Simmer the leeks for 15 minutes under a closed lid.
  • Take the lid off and continue to simmer the leek until most of the liquid evaporates.
  • Take the pan off the stove and set it aside.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Crack the three eggs into a glass bowl, then season them with a pinch of salt and add 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 tbsp vinegar.
  • Beat the eggs with a wire whisk, then gradually whisk in the water.
  • Start to slowly mix in the flour and stir until the dough comes together.
  • Transfer the dough onto your work surface and begin kneading it with your hands. Keep kneading the dough until it's no longer sticky.
  • Divide the dough into six evenly sized balls and place it into a baking pan. Cover the pan with a towel and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
  • Once the dough has fully rested, take 4 of the balls out and roll them into a circle with a diameter of 12 inches.
  • Bake each rolled-out pastry sheet in a greased baking pan until it becomes lightly golden on both sides. It's best to put the pan on the middle rack of your oven as this will ensure the pastry sheets bake evenly.
  • After you finish baking all of the pastry sheets, you should take another dough ball and roll it into a 13-inch circle.
  • Lay the newly rolled-out dough ball into a greased baking pan and fold its edges so they stick to the side of the pan. This will prevent the dough from shrinking while it's baking in the oven.
  • Scoop some of the leek filling and spread it evenly over the dough. Be careful not to add too much filling as you'll need to have enough for the other pastry sheets.
  • Place another pastry sheet on top and repeat this process with the rest of the pastry sheets.
  • Roll the last dough ball and place it on top of the leek pie. Tuck the edges of the dough so it seals the entire pie. This will trap the moisture and give the pie a tender bite.
  • Whisk the last egg in a small bowl and use it to brush the top of the leek pie.
  • Bake on the lower rack of your oven for about 45 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown.
  • Spray the top of the pie with some water, then cover it with a towel and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Video

Notes

  • You don't need to grease your baking pan for every pastry sheet you bake. I only grease it for the first two sheets.
  • Make sure you add equal amounts of the filling to each layer of the pie. If you add too much, you might run out of filling for the last layer.

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Nutrition

Calories: 810kcal | Carbohydrates: 101g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 21g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 350mg | Potassium: 359mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2246IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 8mg

I do my best to provide you with the nutritional information for recipes but I'm not a certified nutritionist. The nutritional information provided should only be treated as an estimate since it will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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