Michael Aram’s Family Cheese Boereg Recipe

I’ve been a great admirer of Michael Aram and his artistry since I first heard about him in 2007. I had the good fortune to meet him in person in 2010 and again a few years later, when he was having events in Bloomingdale’s Dept. Store in Boca Raton, FL.

Robyn (that’s me) and Michael Aram

Our most-recent communication came about after he’d hosted – and posted – an event where he served his family’s recipe for Cheese Boereg. I simply had to ask if he’d share his recipe with The Armenian Kitchen.

Being the kind, generous person that Michael is, he happily agreed!

Thank you, Michael!

A note from The Armenian Kitchen: Other spellings of this recipe include Boreg, Borag, (and others) as the spelling of recipe names vary from region to region.

Without further ado, here is the deliciously flaky, buttery Cheese Boereg recipe from Michael Aram and his family.

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Michael Aram’s Cheese Boeregs

A unique boereg recipe due to its flaky, buttery exterior and fluffy, cheesy interior.
Course Appetizer
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Folding the boregs 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 48 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1 package Phyllo dough Phyllo (fillo) dough sheets can vary in width and length, depending on the brand. This will affect how you fold each sheet, and will ultimately determine the size of each boereg.
  • 1 lb. Muenster cheese grated
  • 1/2 lb. Farmer's cheese or Ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. flat-leaf Italian parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • dash baking powder A dash is less than 1/8 tsp.
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter melted – for brushing on dough

Instructions

Directions for Filling

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cheeses, parsley, salt, eggs, and baking powder until well-combined.

Phyllo Dough Preparation:

  • Take the dough out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before using. Unwrap the dough. Note: once fillo dough is exposed to air, it dries out very quickly, becomes brittle and is impossible to use. Be sure to have plastic wrap and a lightly dampened kitchen towel ready to cover the dough to keep it pliable while you fold the boeregs.

Folding the Boeregs:

  • Fold each sheet in half (or in thirds, depending on size of the sheet) lengthwise. Brush dough surface generously with melted butter.
  • For each boereg, place a spoonful of filling at the end of the folded dough that’s closest to you. Begin folding, as though you were folding a flag – on the diagonal from corner to corner, creating a triangular shape. If there is extra dough at the top, just trim it off or tuck it under.
  • Continue to do this until you run out of filling – or – dough.
  • Keep the folded boeregs covered with plastic wrap.
    NOTE: At this point, you can prepare the boeregs for freezing by placing them in a plastic container large enough to hold the amount you are preparing, making sure you use plastic wrap or waxed paper between each stacked layer to prevent the boeregs from sticking together. Cover tightly with the lid, label, date, & freeze.

Baking the Boeregs:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Place boeregs on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with melted butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Notes

Michael’s mother told him adding baking powder would make the boeregs fluffy – a practice that came down from some of the best cooks in his family. When Michael learned his Aunt Araxie also did this, he didn’t argue!
Frozen boeregs do not need to be defrosted before baking. To bake boeregs from the frozen state, preheat oven to 375 F. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
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