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Sweets

Baklava (nut pie)

dough: 2/3 cup natural oil, 11/2 cup apple juice, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 4 cups whole meal pastry flour 
stuffing: 
#1 #2 #3 #4
11/2 cups each grounded walnuts and almonds 21/2 cups grounded walnuts 
1/2 cup bread crumbs 
a pinch each cinnamon and clove
21/2 cups grounded walnuts 
1/2 cup raisins 
a pinch of vanilla
2 cups grounded chestnuts or almonds 
1 cup raisins 
a few drops of rose-water
syrup: 1/2 oil, 5 tablespoons barley sweet or honey, juice and rind of 1 lemon or 1 vanilla bean 

Heat 2/3 cup oil, add apple juice and salt. Mix in the flour until the dough is smooth. Cover with a cloth and leave for 30 minutes. Cut dough in 5 equal pieces and leave covered for another 30 minutes. Then roll out into 5 layers. Mix the ingredients of the chosen stuffing. Grease a baking dish with oil, place a dough layer, spread some stuffing on it. Cover with the next layer, spread some stuffing and go on until all layers are used. Finish with the fifth dough layer on top. Cut into squares or rectangles. Bake at 200*C for 40-60 minutes. At the end of baking, reduce the heat to 150*C. 
In the meantime prepare the syrup: bring to boil 1/2 cup oil, the honey and seasoning (lemon or vanilla). When the baklava is done, pour over with hot syrup. 

Sutlijash (rice cream)

2 cups cooked brown rice, 1 cup soy-milk, a few raisins, 1 tablespoon barley syrup, a pinch of cinnamon, roasted walnuts or almonds 

Cook rice in soy-milk, on low heat, without stirring. Add raisins, and towards the end of cooking mix in syrup and cinnamon. Cook for a few minutes longer, constantly stirring so it wouldn't burn. Pour the cream into serving bowls and sprinkle with walnuts or almonds. 

Zhito (wheat and walnuts sweet)

500g each wheat grains and walnuts, 2 l apple juice (or 2 l water + a pinch of sea salt), some raisins soaked in water, 1 vanilla bean 

Clean and wash wheat and soak it water for several hours or overnight. Drain and cook it in juice. When it boils, reduce heat and cook until tender. If needed, add hot water during cooking. When done, drain, wash and spread on a clean cloth to dry. Grind twice in a meat grinder. Mix with grounded walnuts, drained raisins and grounded vanilla. Mix well with hands. Place in a glass bowl or plate, form into a ball or cone. Sprinkle with grounded walnuts and raisins. 
Traditionally, this sweet was prepared by orthodox christians only when celebrating the family, guild or other patron saint. This day is called "the feast" ot "family feast". Today it is still a must on these religious occasions, but it is also a popular sweet regardless of the day. 

Gurabiye or Kourabiethes (christmas cakes)

500g whole meal pastry flour, a pinch of sea salt, 11/2 cup natural oil, 2/3 cup honey, 1 teaspoon apple juice, 1 vanilla bean, a few drops of rose water, whole cloves for decorating 

Mix oil and honey and heat a bit. Add juice and vanilla, mix. Gradually add flour, constantly stirring. Place the dough on a wooden board (sprinkled with flour) and kneed into a smooth dough. If its too hard, add more apple juice. Form into a loaf, about 4 cm in diameter. With a sharp knife, cut into 1 cm thick slices. Grease a baking tin with oil and sprinkle with flour. Place the slices on the tin and press a clove into each one. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 150-175*C. These cakes can stay fresh for 2-3 weeks. 
This is one of the oldest cake recipes of the Balkan peninsula. They were mentioned as early as 4th century by Ivan Chrysostom, the archbishop of Constantonople at that time.

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