Plăcintă is a Romanian traditional pastry resembling a thin, small round or square-shaped cake, usually filled with a soft cheese such as Urdă or apples. The word plăcintă comes from Latin placenta which means cake. As shown by the etymology of the word, the plăcintă has a Roman origin, and dates from when Romania was a part of the Roman Empire. Ancient Greek bakers made their bread with olive oil, herbs and cheese. The secret of making cakes was given to the Romans during the invasion. At first there were only two varieties of cakes, called the libum and the placenta. The libum was a small cake, used as an offering to the gods. As for the placenta, the Romans developed the recipe as a cake made of fine flour covered with cheese, honey, and fragrant bay leaves.
Ancient Roman bakers customarily prepared a large placenta which was cut into squares to be offered for sale. This is the way that Romanians continue to prepare their plăcintă. Plăcintă with cheese and raisins
Traditional Varieties of Plăcintă
- The plăcintă cu mere is a cake filled with apple.
- The plăcintă cu varză is a cake filled with cabbage and pepper.
- The plăcintă cu brânză is a cake filled with sheep or cow cheese, such as telemea.
- The plăcintă cu urdă is a sweet cake filled with ricotta and dill, or raisins.
- The plăcintă cu ciocolată is a cake filled with chocolate.
- 450 g puff pastry sheets
- 1 kg light cream cheese
- 300 g feta cheese, grated
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- zest from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons rum extract
- 2 tablespoons semolina
- 200 g raisins
- 60 g butter
- 6 eggs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- Mix the cream cheese and feta cheese.
- Add the sugar, lemon zest, rum extract and the eggs (save 2 egg yolks). Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are combined. Lastly, mix in the semolina and raisins.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C.
- Butter your pan and add half of the pastry sheets. Brush them with melted butter. Spoon the cheese mixture over.
- Place the remaining pastry sheets and again brush them with melted butter.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Combine the 2 egg yolks with the sour cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Brush the top of the pie with this mixture and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, cut into squares and sprinkle with some icing sugar (if preferred).