Turkish Recipes: Tepsi Boreği

We’ve posted a few Turkish recipes recently that involve the use of yufka; the last one being sigara böreği (cheese rolls). I’ve got a minor obsession for working with fresh yufka which I have to keep in check, otherwise we’ll become obese, pastry-munching, couch potatoes. Because of this, the next recipe we were going to post was going to be a light, fresh, healthy meze; something to reflect the warmer weather and eating alfresco in the dappled shade of a lush garden…

Well, there’s lots of time for that. A few weeks ago we had a red meat treat and I made a chilli con carne. We had a small amount of minced beef left over and some yufka in the fridge. Another börek recipe was called for.

Turkish Recipe for Tepsi Böreği

This was only the second time I’d made this börek recipe. Why it came into my head on this particular day, I have no idea. Maybe it was a fitting farewell to winter – good, wholesome, no-nonsense, comfort food.

Tepsi is the Turkish word for tray so we’re making a tray pastry – a pie!

Step 1: Choose a filling
Lots of food in the fridge meant we had options. Traditional Turkish fillings include cheese & spinach and potato & spinach.

Börek Filling

Potato, meat, onion and spinach filling

We had potatoes, we had cheese, we had spinach and we also had some leftover minced beef.

  • Peel and grate 1 large potato and begin to fry slowly in a non-stick pan.
  • Finely chop 1 onion and add to the pan after a few minutes.
  • As the onion begins to soften, add 100g minced beef and cook until the meat has browned.
  • Add salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste.
  • Roughly chop 250g of spinach and stir into the mixture until it wilts (spinach holds a lot of soil between its leaves so give it a good wash before you use it).
  • Leave to cool.

Step 2: Prepare your yufka case

Yufka from Fethiye Market

The puzzle of folded yufka

I’ve mentioned in previous börek recipes that yufka is made as huge, circular sheets. These sheets are then folded into squares (as in the photo above) and I am yet to work out how the yufkacı does this. The sheet of yufka never opens up as you expect it to.

Layering the yufka sheets

Layer 1 trails over the tray edges

  • Place the yufka in the centre of a baking tray (our baking trays are 12 inch by 11 inch)
  • Open out the yufka carefully so that it trails over the sides of the tray.
  • Beat an egg, add a splash of milk and a glug of olive oil. (I’ve seen recipes where a knob of melted margarine is also added to this mixture. You can add this if you want but I decided the calorie and fat content was already more than enough.) Use a pastry brush to brush the mixture over the pastry that sits in the tray.
Another Layer of Yufka

Layer 2 sits inside the tray

  • Lay another sheet of yufka over the first one – but this time, tear off the edges. It doesn’t have to be neat and tidy (as you can see).
  • Keep the torn yufka pieces to one side. You’ll need them again in a short while.

Step 4: Add your filling
At Step 3, you can paint the egg mixture over the second layer of yufka if you like and add another layer of yufka. I was trying to keep this börek recipe as light as possible so 2 layers was enough.

Add the filling for the börek

Your filling will have cooled down by the time you get to this stage

Spread your filling in the tray so that it reaches the edges and corners.

Step 5: Make the börek case
Now you’re ready to encase your filling, resulting in tepsi böreği.

More Yufka

The first layer for the lid of your tepsi böreği

  • Take the pieces of yufka you tore from the previous layer and place them over the top of your filling. Again, it doesn’t have to be neat and tidy. Just make sure your filling is covered.
  • Brush the egg mixture over the top. If you want to, add another layer of yufka at this stage (I didn’t) and brush the top with the egg mixture again.
Brush the börek with egg

Fold in your trailing edges

At the moment, you’ve got your original sheet of yufka dangling over the sides of the tray. This is now going to make your parcel.

  • Fold the bottom edge over to the top and brush again with the egg mixture.
  • Now fold the side edge of yufka over to the top and brush.
  • Repeat with all 4 edges until you have a yufka parcel sitting in your oven tray.
Oven-Ready Tepsi Böreği

Ready for the oven

Step 6: Bake and Eat
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and bake in the middle of the oven until the top is golden brown. (About 35 minutes.)

A Slice of Tepsi Böreği

A slice of tepsi böreği

Once cooked, remove from the oven, slice into squares and enjoy. Tepsi böreği is perfect party food.

Afiyet olsun!

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  1. That’s a beautiful dish!! I can only imagine the lovely flakiness!

  2. Kaya Koyu Walker says

    Even though I’m doing Roast Beef and Yorkshire puds for dinner, I’d much rather have the simple stuff like Boregi……………….Or would I ? 😉

  3. Karen from Globetrotter Diaries says

    A friend made this for me once and I loved it! Wanting to make it for the blog soon…. too much food and not enough time right!?

  4. @ Belinda: Good comfort food and a great hangover cure! 🙂

    @ Kaya Koyu Walker: It’s already starting to feel a bit too warm here for the old Sunday roast. 🙂

    @ Karen: Exactly. We struggle to fit everything in. Looking forward to your recipe for this.

  5. This tepsi boregi looks really yummy!
    Turkish version of lasagna. 🙂

  6. @ London Caller: It is yummy. I thought about layering the pastry and the filling like a lasagne. 🙂

  7. Christy @ Technosyncratic says

    This looks so yummy! I don’t quite have the gumption to try out the recipe (I’m a disaster in the kitchen), but maybe I’ll beg my chef friend to give it a go and invite me over. 😉

  8. @ Christy: We both love to cook but it’s always nice to be able to have someone do it for you, isn’t it?

  9. Vicky Sayar says

    I’ve lived in Turkey for 9 years now and have always been too scared to try to make this. I think I’ll try it today from your recipe and if it’s a success, (I’m not the world’s best baker!) I’ll make it for my Turkish mother in law which will leave her speechless!

  10. @ Vicky: Good luck with that, then! 🙂 Hope it all works for you. I think a lot of Turkish people like their tepsi böreği with a couple more layers if you want to try that?

  11. This looks fabulous! I purchased a package of triangular shaped yufka leaves. Is there a taditional way to fold the triangular shape? Any traditional Sweet fillings?

  12. @ kathy: The triangular ones are for sigara böreği – they look like spring rolls. The sweet pastries are mainly baklava but that’s a slightly different pastry to yufka. If you want to try sigara, we did a post on it here: http://www.turkeysforlife.com/2011/04/turkish-recipes-sigara-borek-cheese.html

  13. I recently bought yufka dough again and was looking for somehting else than a plain cheese filling. This sounds delicious. That’s next on my list. Thanks!

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