typical foods for shavuoth are cheese blintzes, crepes which are filled with a cheese mixture and then fried, and cheesecakes of all sorts. one thing that i love eating on this holiday is a specialty of montreal and something which consistently draws blanks when mentioned to people from other places. it is a cheese filled pastry we call "cheese bagels" and most likely an eastern european jewish invention. having lived in different cities in canada, it is something which i've only ever encountered in this city.
cheese bagels are no doubt called that because of their shape however i have only ever seen them in the shape of a horseshoe. they are typically bought from bakeries and not made at home. well, this recipe will change that.
the dough for making this item is usually always [as far as i've ever encountered] a puff type pastry. this can be easily bought from a bakery or a grocery store. the one i am using here is a quick type puff pastry which requires no laminating (the complicated method of incorporating butter and folding the dough). it is simply a few spins in the food processor and voila, it's ready. admittedly, it does not rise as much as a classic puff pastry and the texture is different. it is, however, quite acceptable. if you are not good at pastry, you may be better off just using a store bought type puff pastry for this.
to make these, you also need to use dry cottage cheese, preferably with a high fat content or it will taste somewhat grainy. dry cottage cheese is used for baking mostly and has a much tighter and smaller grain than curd cottage cheese which would not work here.
though the recipe does not say to do it, i find the texture more appealing after processing it a few minutes in the food processor to break up the grain and give a smoother filling. i recommend doing this.
i have to say these are good. very good. the only thing is that they are a bit fussy in terms of the dough, easy as it is to make. you need to have a well floured surface to avoid sticking and the dough may crack a bit while baking. that, though, is fine. it does not affect their overall goodness. the other thing is that the dough needs to be rolled out not too long after it is refrigerated. waiting longer will firm it up too much making it harder to roll properly.
don't let all this discourage you from trying your hand at making them. they really are fairly easy to make. served warm with sour cream and sliced strawberries, these make a perfect shavuot breakfast or anytime treat :)
montreal style cheese bagels
cheese filled pastries
makes 8 cheese beiglach; recipe adapted from a marcy goldman one
1/2 c cold butter - cut into chunks; use unsalted butter
2 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 c sour cream
1 pound (454 gr) dry cottage cheese [baking cheese]
6 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp. flour
egg for eggwash
sugar for coating
add the dry ingredients together for the dough in a food processor. blend them.
add the butter in chunks and process in pulses until it is mealy.
mix the sour cream and egg together and add it to the flour mixture and pulse it several times until it comes together. do not overwork it.
remove and place in a bowl. stick this in the fridge and make the filling.
place all the ingredients together in a big bowl and mix or place them directly in the food processor. process everything until smooth, if desired.
place the processed or mixed filling in a bowl and put this in the fridge, too.
let the dough and filling rest for 20 minutes. meanwhile heat the oven to 350F.
making the cheese bagels:
preheat the oven to 350F.
cut the dough into two equal pieces.
on a very well floured board, with extra flour by your side, roll out the dough into a rectangle which is about 3/8 to 1/4 inch thick. do not roll too thinly.
divide the filling into 4 equal portions.
place only one of the cheese filling portions along the length, from end to end, of the rolled dough near the edge of the dough closest to you.
roll it over so that it just meets the dough.
cut along the length about 1/4 inch higher than where the two edges meet so there is a tiny overlap. this is were you need to be careful; if it is too short it won't close properly and if it is too overlapped you will be short of dough for the next ones.
carefully turn the roll so the seam is on the bottom but ensure it's closed before doing so. cut the filled roll into 2 equal halves.
carefully transfer each one of the two to a parchment lined baking sheet and gently form a horseshoe shape. the filling will stay inside so don't worry about having each end open.
brush the cheese bagels with eggwash (one egg which you whisked and strained in a small bowl) and then liberally sprinkle sugar over each pastry.
bake the cheese bagels about 35 to 40 minutes or until nice and golden brown. bake 4 at a time and repeat with remaining ones.
serve warm with sourcream and fruit.
these freeze very well. just reheat in the oven @ 350 F or eat at room temperature.