Zagorski Štrukli (Boiled Croatian Cheese Strudel)

(photo: Seri Kattan-Wright)


Zagorski Štrukli

Boiled Croatian Cheese Strudel

Difficulty: Medium Difficulty

Yield: Makes 8 servings
Preparation Time: 1 hour


This preparation, called Zagorski Štrukli in Croatian, is a boiled puff pastry pie made with farmer's or cottage cheese and is a specialty of the Zagorje, Prigorje, and Međimurje regions around the city of Zagreb in northern Croatia. It will seem completely counterintuitive to boil puff pastry, but that's what you do here, and it will work. Just remember, you don't boil them for long.

1 pound frozen puff pastry, defrosted according to package instructions

1/2 pound farmer's cheese or cottage cheese, at room temperature

1/2 pound imported feta cheese, at room temperature

3 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste

Butter, for greasing

1 cup sour cream

  1. Preheat the oven to 365 degrees F.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out each puff pastry sheet (usually 2 to a box) until it is a large rectangle about 18 x 11 inches.
  3. In a bowl, stir together the cheeses, 2 eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread this mixture in a line, below center, lengthwise along the puff pastry. Fold the puff pastry over the stuffing and shape into a cylinder, sealing the long edge by rubbing with water with your finger. Cut into 2-inch lengths and pinch the ends shut with the tines of a fork.
  4. Bring a large saucepan of water to a gentle boil and boil the puff pastry pieces until softened, about 1 minute. Some cheese will escape. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain a bit, then place in a buttered 13 x 9 x 2-inch or similarly sized baking dish.
  5. In a bowl, whip together the sour cream and remaining egg and a pinch of salt. Pour over the pastries and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve once they are warm.