These little savory pies can be found as an appetizer in most every traditional Karaite household. The recipe for the dough has been shared from cook to cook with slight variations. These were made together with the talented hands of Lilian Mourad.
Makes about 24-30 pieces
Total Cooking Time: Approximately 1 hour
- One package of cream cheese (3 oz)
- 3/4 cup of pecorino cheese
- One and a half eggs
Mix the eggs, cream cheese and pecorino cheese with a hand mixer. Refrigerate until use with dough.
Note: For best results, it is recommend that the cheese filling is made and sits overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Dough and Breading:
- Two cups of flour
- One stick of butter
- A teaspoon of salt
- 1/3 cup of cold water
- Two teaspoons of yeast
- Two tablespoons of oil
- 1 egg yolk
- (Optional) brown sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, add the flour, yeast and salt and mix. Make sure the butter is soft so it mixes well. Add in the butter, oil and cold water and mix into dough. Work the dough, kneading and adding small amounts of flour as needed.
Cut the dough in small pieces. Roll pieces of the dough in your hands to form balls in order to even out the dough. With a roller or a glass, roll the dough until thin. The dough should not stick to your preparation surface. If needed, add flour to your workstation You should be able to see light through the piece of dough if held up to a window. The thinner the better.
Cut the dough into squares and add the cheese mixture in the center. Fold the dough over the cheese and gently press to form a light seal. Take a glass, bowl or round object and cut off the excess dough so as to create a crescent shape. Gently stretch the crescent in the longer end to end direction and place onto a cooking pan.
Use the excess dough from each piece and combine so as too make more sambousek pieces.
When all the sambousek are folded and on the tray, take the egg yolk and add a small amount of water. Paint the top of the sambousek with the egg yolk and then add the sesame seeds and paint again so the seeds stick.
Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 min.
Special thank you to Lilian Mourad her time and recipe
Photography by Ezra Moussa