Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick, the bakers behind Boston’s Middle Eastern pastry shop Sofra, research the region’s spices and signature flavors while incorporating them into their own sweet and savory goods in Soframiz.
This recipe was inspired by a traditional Greek yogurt and semolina custard that is baked in grape leaves. It is a version of dolma, which means “stuffed” in both Turkish and Greek and is often associated with grape leaves that are stuffed with rice and rolled like short cigars. I love this version because the grape leaves get crispy and a little caramelized, a nice combination with the briny flavor of the leaves.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease four 4-inch tart pans or 6 cups in a muffin tin with olive oil.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the grape leaves, and cook for 1 minute. Drain and set aside to cool.
- When the grape leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife or a pair of scissors to cut off the remaining stem.
- Sweat the leek and carrot in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat in 1 tablespoon olive oil until the vegetables have softened without browning, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
- Stir in the orzo, ground lamb, salt, pepper, tomato paste, cumin, orange zest, dried oregano, Maras pepper, and parsley. Use your hands to get everything incorporated.
- In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, honey, and the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Brush one side of the grape leaves with the honey mixture and lay three leaves, brushed side down, into the tart pans, overlapping them a little so that some of the leaves hang over the pan by about 2 inches. Fill with about 1 cup of the meat mixture and fold the leaves over to cover the top. Press the pie into the tart pan so that it molds to the pan. Repeat with the remaining three pies. If you are using a muffin tin, use 2 leaves per pie and divide the lamb mixture into six pies instead of four.
- Brush the tops with the remaining honey mixture.
- Bake until the grape leaves are crispy on the top and the meat is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the feta, hot water, and jalapeño or pickled peppers in a blender and blend until very smooth and creamy. Scrape into a small serving bowl and set aside.
- Remove the tarts by inverting each onto a plate. Top each serving with a tablespoon of spicy feta sauce.
Reprinted with permission from Soframiz by Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick, 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.