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Friday, July 07, 2006

Zagorje Cheese Shtrukli - Zagorske štrukle

Serves 8 to 10
5 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
5 eggs
1 tablespoon cooking oil
pinch of salt
2 1/2 pounds dry curd cottage cheese or ricotta
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
4 cups heavy cream

In a large mixing bowl make a dough from the flour, 1 egg, the oil and a small
amount of salted water. Keep kneading the dough, either in the bowl or on a floured surface, until bubbles start to form and dough becomes smooth. Then shape the dough into a ball. Coat the surface with cooking spray, cover with a clean dishtowel and let stand about 15 minutes.

While the dough is resting, make the filling: Mix the cheese with the remaining 4 eggs
in a mixing bowl. Add salt and 1/2 cup of melted butter. Blend until the mixture is
smooth. Sprinkle a large work surface such as a kitchen table with flour. Roll out the dough to paper-thin thickness. Then spread out the cheese mixture evenly over dough. Brush the dough with 1/2 cup melted butter. Roll up, jelly-roll fashion.

Cut the roll into 20 pieces (the cutting is traditionally done with the rim of a plate).
Boil the shtrukli in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes. Drain and arrange in a greased ovenproof dish. Preheat oven to 400°. Pour the remaining ½ cup butter over the shtrukli and top with cream. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until golden.

Double the recipe and freeze shtrukli after boiling them. Prior to baking, thaw slightly, place in ovenproof dish and top with butter and cream and then bake.

Buy low-fat cottage cheese. Use light butter and evaporated 2% or skim milk in place of cream.