Prekmurska gibanica originates from the Mura river region (Prekmurje literally means “across the Mura river (region)”) and is considered one of Slovenia's most recognisable culinary specialties.
The nutritious desert that is composed of two types of dough and four fillings was in the past reserved for special occasions only, as it wasn't cheap to make: a layer of shortbread at the bottom and four fillings in the prescribed order (poppy seeds; cottage cheese; walnuts; apples), each separated with a thin layer of filo (strudel) pastry.
In 2010 Prekmurska gibanica was awarded the Traditional Speciality Guaranteed Certificate, which is used to protect a recipe, ingredients or a method of preparation, while production is not geographically limited. This means one can produce (and sell) prekmurska gibanica anywhere in the world as long as the correct recipe is observed.
If we'll be making gibanica in a cake tin, we'll have to cut it into 16 cake pieces (the rules say so). Gibanica baked in rectangular pan will be cut into cubes. For a 40x35cm rectangular baking dish or a round pan of 30 to 35cm in diameter, we will need the following amount of ingredients.
short pastry for the base
filo (strudel) pastry (9 sheets)
Poppy seed filling
30dag finely ground poppy seeds
10 dag granulated sugar
1 vanilla sugar (optional)
Cottage cheese filling
1.2kg full-fat cottage cheese
10 dag granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 sachets of vanilla sugar (optional)
30dag ground walnuts
10dag granulated sugar
1 vanilla sugar (optional9
1.5 kg apples (sour variety, grind)
12 dag of granulated sugar,
pinch of cinnamon
2 sachets of vanilla sugar
8 dl of fresh cream mixed with 3 eggs for the cream topping
25 dag of melted butter for the fatty topping
Once we’ve got all the fillings, pastry and toppings ready, we begin building gibanica by placing short bread pastry to the bottom of the baking tray. This part is called the foot or podplat in Slovenian. On the top of the short bread pastry we put one layer of filo pastry and half of the poppy seed filling on the top of that. The poppy seeds are then topped with some fatty and cream topping, before covered with another layer of filo pastry and the cottage cheese filling. The third filling is then walnuts, followed by apples. Each filling is covered with both toppings before a layer of filo pastry is placed on the top of those. The procedure with the fillings is then repeated in the same order once more and completes with a layer of filo pastry and cream and/or fatty topping.
Before gibanica is placed into a preheated oven for about an hour and a half, we prick it with a toothpick to prevent bubbles from forming.
Once baked, we leave it rest for at least four hours so that it won’t fall apart when sliced.