Bucnica – Croatian Squash Cottage Cheese Strudel

Here is a dish my mom makes almost every week back home. Some people have all the luck, those people that get to go to her house for Sunday lunch…They will most likely get a delicious soup, amazing main dish with like four different sides and three different salads, and then for dessert often comes bucnica. No joke.
And what is bucnica?
Why, it is the same as Croatian Cheese Strudel with addition of pumpkin/squash to the cheese mixture. Making it even better! It is a savory dessert (or snack) and it’s very popular in Northern Croatia.
I had luck and found a perfect light green squash at farmers market (and of course I do not remember the name of it)  this past Fall when I was making this, but throughout the year I often use large grated zucchini. It is not the exact same flavor match, but it’s close enough with both the texture and the flavor if you can’t find the big light green squash that I’m talking about but have no idea what it’s called. See how much help I am? :)))
Bucnica – Croatian Squash Cottage Cheese Strudel

8 sheets of Phyllo dough

for the filling:

2 24oz tubs of cottage cheese
1 cup of sour cream
3 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp of salt
2 lbs of grated pumpkin, squash or zucchini (grated and salted, then excess water squeezed out)

half a stick of melted butter
little water

Preheat the oven to 400.
Mix cottage cheese with sour cream, eggs and grated zucchini, season with salt and set on a side.
Put a clean tablecloth on your working surface and put on top of it first two sheets of Phyllo dough. Lightly brush the melted butter over the sheet and then add 1/4 of your filling, distributing it evenly over the sheet all the way up, but stop about 1 inch from the top. Now you will roll this, using the tablecloth. Lifting the tablecloth, gently start folding the sheets until you have a ‘snake’. Once that is done, I usually spray some water on the ends so that I can fold them under the strudel when putting in the pan. You repeat this three more times and then gently put them in a greased pan.
Now use whatever is leftover from the melted butter and brush over everything, specially all the creases.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until its nicely golden color. When done take it out of the oven and let it cool of a little bit. Once it’s cooled enough, cut in pieces (about 5 inches in length) and its nomnom time! Enjoy.

*for step by step pictures go to Croatian Cheese Strudel post.

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