December 6, 2023

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Four Desserts From My Serbian Grandma

My grandmother was from Serbia, section of the Yugoslavian union at the time she came to the US. She did not turn into a US citizen right up until I was 12 several years previous. She spoke the Rusyn dialect with her youngsters, like my father who was born in the US, and her English was damaged and strongly accented all her existence. Grandma was a superb pastry baker. Her desserts ended up lots of, and some are recalled predominantly as Xmas pastries.

Nut Pita

In my thoughts, Nut Pita is just one of the recipes constantly involved with Christmas. It is not a incredibly sweet dessert, but is pretty loaded. My grandmothers Nut Pita is two levels of unsweetened pastry dough, with a ground walnut, egg and sugar filling. The fillings could also be meat fillings, cheese or fruit. Pita means pie in Serbian, and I recognize that the pastry portion of these pies is commonly a puff pastry dough or fillo dough. Pie can be interpreted as just about anything built with a crust, normally on the bottom, and sometimes also on best of a filling. Fillings may possibly be sweet or savory. In Grandmas Nut Pita, the filling was made with a dozen eggs, divided. The whites ended up whipped separately and folded into the yolks, sugar and ground nuts. The pastry she manufactured was with yeast, nevertheless not puff pastry sort dough. It was rolled to match a 13 x 9 inch pan, the filling went in and this was topped with a different layer of the pastry. Right after baking, it was constantly sliced into diamond styles, brushed with vanilla and then sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Kifli, Kiflicke, Kiefele

I am not guaranteed of the spelling of these minor pastries. The pastry aspect of these is wealthy and flaky, but not sweet dough. It is rolled out to small squares or circles and a filling is put in the center, reverse sides or corners are pulled with each other and they are baked. The fillings in the center that I most recall are Prune Lekvar, a easy puree of cooked prunes, and Apricot filling. Either of these two fillings is uncomplicated to make. Just take pitted dry fruits and a small amount of water with some lemon rind and simmer right up until all the water has boiled down. Puree in the food processor right up until sleek with sugar, to flavor. It tends to make a excellent filling, and even preferences fantastic distribute on toast. The dough is gentle and flaky and the fillings are mouth watering.


I have not had a strudel like my grandmas considering that the previous time I saw her, a quite prolonged time back. I have purchased strudel in places to eat, and considering the fact that they are ordinarily German eating places, the pastry element was a thicker and a lot more bread like dough. Grandma’s strudel was produced by stretching her dough to address the entire kitchen table, with an overhang of at the very least 12 inches. It was stretched so skinny you could read a newspaper through the dough. She would sprinkle on just one of various kinds of sweetened fillings, this sort of as poppy seed, floor walnuts, apples, cheese, and even cabbage. It usually seemed there would not be ample filling, as it was spread so skinny, but the dough was also incredibly slender, so it was generally best. Grandmas strudel was not only for holidays, but was constantly existing in her dwelling.


Little dough balls, soaked with sizzling water and mixed with honey and floor poppy seeds. Unless of course one particular has grown up feeding on this dessert, it seems hard to get pleasure from. We of the family find these small balls fully irresistible. Grandmas edition is sweet with all the honey, but I have witnessed savory versions out there also. It would seem so quite a few of the desserts I grew up with are also recognized in savory variations.

I am incredibly lucky to have grown up in a spouse and children with these types of a abundant heritage. Like most young children it is effortless to take for granted the culture and food stuff traditions that become part of your lifetime. Much too several little ones today want to skip the standard food items of their households and head to the neighborhood quickly food stuff cafe. My Grandparents usually said, “With age will come knowledge”. It took me several decades to realize they are suitable and I am now trying to move these traditions on to you.

Thank you for having the time to go through my posting. I hope it was educational and helped you alongside your individual culinary journey.