Armenian cheese pie (Porag)

July 20, 2010  • 

 

Lebanon is made up of many cultures and  the Armenian community is  particularly interesting, rich in history and traditions; yet known only superficially by most people here who have lived for generations side by side  with Armenian-Lebanese.

This is one of  my first attempts at the wide wide world of Armenian pastry; the dough is similar to a brioche, rich in eggs and dairy; the filling is made up of cheeses, onion and herbs; can be varied ad infinitum.


INGREDIENTS:

This quantity will make enough dough for 2 large pies, each feeding 8 people.

  • 4 1/2 cups of bread flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of dry yeast, diluted in 1/4 cup of lukewarm water with a teaspoon of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 3/4 cup of melted butter (or a mixture of butter and corn oil)

METHOD:

  1. First, proof the yeast in a small cup mixing sugar and water and waiting a few minutes for the bubbles.
  2. In a large bowl, place the flour and salt and mix well; add the eggs, butter and milk and proofed yeast and mix well until the dough is compact and shiny; add more flour if necessary, a little at a time. Cover with a towel for two hours.
  3. Roll out one quarter of the dough until the thickness is about 1/8 of an inch; using the rolling pin to carry it, place it ina greased round pan (preferably with a removable bottom), about 10 inches wide.
  4. Mix the cheeses and eggs and onion and parsley and spices; place the filling over the dough.
  5. Preheat the oven and roll out the other quarter of the dough; place over the cheese filling and seal the pie; brush it with an egg; bake in a 375F (190C) oven till the pie is golden and crisped all over; eat right away or reheat later or the next day.

CHEESE FILLING:

  • 1 pound of swiss cheese, grated (or other hard, nutty cheese)
  • 1 pound of mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs, mixed with a fork
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 large onion, chopped very fine preferably
  • 1 tablespoon of hot red pepper or paprika

Mix all these ingredients in a bowl; place on the dough, spreading them evenly.

Recipe adapted from La Cuisine Arménienne Végétarienne de Mireille Donaghian




Comments

32 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    Oh, yummy! That is so delicious looking. I love the filling.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Miriam says:

    These looks gorgeous, very similar to Spanish empanadas, although with a richer dough.

  3. Lyndsey says:

    Wow this is right up my ally…so tempting! I have so many of your recipes bookmarked already. I’m making your tabouleh for book club tonight! This one is next! Great photos too. I love looking at all of them!

  4. Suman Singh says:

    looks amazing..liked the pics..beautiful..

  5. Jen_from_NJ says:

    Your cheese pie looks fantastic – I love that filling!

  6. Cherine says:

    I’ve never tasted this pie… Looks really yummy!

  7. Sushma Mallya says:

    Beautiful pie

  8. anncoo says:

    This sounds easy and delicious, I love that filling~full of cheese!

  9. Angie's Recipes says:

    Love anything cheesy! I am totally intrigued with this American cheese pie!

  10. Devaki says:

    Oh so wonderful Joumana – And right you are – very similar to brioche dough and just as rich too! 😉 I adore the mix of cheeses with fresh herbs. Lovely.

    Your pics of the wonderful architecture makes my heart sing 🙂

    Ciao,Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  11. Priyap says:

    Droolworthy pie, makes me hungry..

  12. TastyTrix says:

    I cannot keep up with all of your awesome posts!! How do you do it? I love the brioche quality of this dough, it looks delicious. When you say it feeds 8 you were not counting on me and my appetite.

  13. Katerina says:

    The filling is great so is the dough. I love it!

  14. Anh says:

    That pie looks awesome! I have eaten something similar, but never made it myself.

  15. Fig & Cherry says:

    Delicious! I’ve got some of those round shallow tins from my Teta and I wasn’t sure what other Lebanese recipes I could use them for (other than baked kibbeh). Can’t wait to give this a try! Thanks Joumana, I adore reading your blog 🙂

  16. SYLVIA says:

    This is basically Armenian comfort food, layer of homemade dough with cheese filing an ever so popular delicacy in our cuisine. Joumana I totally admire you, and I thank you, for acknowledging, our culture and its culinary traditions. There is something about the warm borag that pleases everyone, I like how you open the oven, not only it looks gorgeous but you hear the sound of the cheese bubbling.Great job Joumana!

  17. Vagabonde says:

    I looked at all your past recipes – they look so good. I think I had this Armenian pie when visiting my Armenian family in Egypt. Actually I met my Armenian cousin while in California a couple of weeks ago. We were going to a restaurant in Hollywood but it was closed so we went to a new Lebanese restaurant. My cousin did all the ordering and the food was fabulous. I am not cooking much as it is so warm and humid here and my husband and I eat mostly salads.
    Je ne sais pas comment tu as le temps d’écrire tous ces posts avec des récettes et des photos. J’ai fait un plat cette semaine et j’ai pris des photos, et vraiment cela m’a pris beaucoup de temps. Donc je suis en admiration sur ton blog.

  18. Jean says:

    I can see myself enjoying this for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. I love how thin and crispy it looks. Thanks for sharing another great recipe.

  19. tigerfish says:

    Such a sleek-looking pie. Can I try?

  20. Marina says:

    Je ne connais pas….mais je suis sûre d’aimer et de tester bientôt!!!

  21. peter says:

    A similar dough to phyllo…one we call ‘korou”. A fine dish to bake for the summer…leftovers reign here and taste better the next day.

  22. marla says:

    If I could dive into this pastry with the cheese filling I would. That crispy shell with the creamy inside looks divine. I like the addition of hot pepper. xo

  23. fimère says:

    une tarte au fromage riche en goût et en saveurs, j’aime beaucoup
    bonne journée

  24. Gloria says:

    absolutely yummy and delicious!! xx gloria

  25. Doc says:

    Yummy, I love that recipe. So much potential for endless variation….

  26. Christine @ Fresh says:

    I like the versatility of this pastry dough. The cheese pie looks so flaky and crusty. What a wonderful treat.

  27. Susan says:

    Who doesn’t love beautiful pastry combined with good cheese and seasonings. I think I need to try this just to taste the dough 😉

  28. Magic of Spice says:

    Delicious cheese pie:)

  29. grace says:

    awesome crust, and even better filling! this one’s a looker, joumana–well done!

  30. FOODESSA says:

    Joumana…I’ll bring my homemade Italian vino and you’ll offer me one of my very favourite cheese pies. We have an Armenian fellow nearby that makes a small fortune with these. I think he needs a little competion to bring him down from that mountain of his ;o)

    BTW…I love that ornamental front ‘portone’…just beautiful.

    Ciao bella and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  31. Adelina says:

    I am in love with your posts. I am actually Armenian but don’t know how to make this cheese pie. It has been one of my goals. It felt sooo good to see this post on your site. Living in Los Angeles, California has its advantages for some Armenian Delis that make this for breakfast. I have to save your recipe so I can get the courage of making it one of these days!

  32. Lentil Breakdown says:

    Am stranded here pastry-less. Please send porag!

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