Croatian Cooking: Bijela Pita (White Slice)
“Bijela pita” is another traditional cake in Croatia and several other countries in the Balkans. It’s also considered to be like a “sister dessert” to Mađarica, one of the most popular cakes in our region. Bijela Pita usually made for the holidays and some kind of celebrations such as birthdays and weddings.
Bijela pita, or if translated exactly, “white pie”, was considered to be a dessert for the people in the countryside, mainly working in agriculture considered less wealthy then those in the big cities. The reason for that is that you don’t need a lot of money to make this slice and it’s often the case that you’ll already have all the ingredients at your house.
Nowadays it’s one of the most loved desserts to be seen on the tables.
Don’t be afraid of making this dessert for fear that it’s complicated – it’s not! Making the dough is very simple, you just need to mix it and roll it out, and the filling is one the easiest creams to make – and then, that’s it, you’ll have yourself one delicious dessert in around an hour.
Bijela Pita Ingredients:
For the dough:
- 400 g flour
- 100 g sugar
- 120 g lard
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp milk
For the filling:
- 1/2 l milk
- 3 tbsp flour
- 150g sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence (or 1 pkt vanilla sugar)
- 100 g butter
How To Make Bijela Pita
- Mix all the ingredients to make a dough. It should be smooth and soft
- Shape it into a ball, leave it in a bowl, and cover with cling film and let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour
- Divide the dough into 4 same sized pieces and roll them with a rolling pin to around 3-4 mm thick
- Bake the dough in the heated oven, 180 Celsius degrees, until slightly golden on the edges. Let the dough sheets to cool down. Tip: One trick before baking, is to use a tray as a template and cut the dough to the same size shape – this makes assembling easier
- In a saucepan heat up the milk with sugar and vanilla sugar. Add the flour slowly while constantly stirring. Cook until the mixture starts to get thick (it will take a few minutes)
- When the filling has cooled down, with an electric hand mixer, mix in the butter to get a soft cream
- Now we need to start assembling this delicious dessert. Place the first sheet of pastry put on a tray and cover with 1/3 of the filling. Spread the filling evenly before putting on the second layer of the pastry. Continue to do so until you have used all the filling and all the dough Simplified: pastry-filling-pastry-filling-pastry-filling-pastry
- Cover with powdered sugar and let it rest in a fridge overnight, slice it and serve it the next day
Note: The reason for letting it the slice rest overnight is so that the pastry has time to become softer and easier to cut.