Albanian Vegetable Pie / No. 2 (Byrek ose Lakror)

Albanian vegetable pies are extremely delicious. Taste one, and you’ll see for yourself! Just below is a recipe submitted by Laura Chadwich who swears it’s a “to-die-for.” Laura also related this favorite Albanian custom, “Every New Year’s Eve, the mother would make a lakror. She would place a coin somewhere inside the baked pie, and then the pan was whirled several times so as to lose track of the coin When the whircling stopped, the lakror was then cut into as many pieces as there were family members at the table. Whoever got the piece with the coin inside was supposed to have good luck throughout the New Year!” Laura also informed Frosina that she got the recipe from her Albanian grandmother who was a native of Korcha in southern Albania

LEEK, SCALLION OR SPINACH PIE 

Basic Dough Recipe 

5 cups flour
1-1/2 t. salt
2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 lb. butter or melted margarine

Mix flour, salt, and water with hands until soft. Knead for 5 minutes, then place in bowl and cover for 10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll out one half until thin Butter well. Fold sides toward center. Butter and fold one half over the other longwise. Butter and fold in the opposite direction until a 5-inch folded square is formed. Butter top and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Do the same with the other half of dough. Remove dough from refrigerator, and roll out to size of your buttered pan (preferably 15″ long or round). Place the dough on the bottom of the pan – there should be a 1/2″ overlap. Add filling. Roll out the other half of the dough and place it over the filling. Roll the edges inward well. Brush the top with butter before baking. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until bottom is slightly browned.

Leek or Scallion Filling 

2 large leeks or two bunches of scallions
2 lbs. cottage cheese
6 eggs
1/4 t. salt
1/4 cup milk or yogurt
2 T. of melted butter

Chop leeks or scallions. Use mostly Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Spinach Filling

1 lb. frozen spinach.
2 lbs. cottage cheese
6 eggs
1/4 t. salt
1/4 cup milk or yogurt
2 T. melted butter

Defrost and drain spinach the white portions. Saute until tender. Combine with remaining ingredients.

Serves 4-6.

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