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Prekmurska gibanica

The Prekmurska gibanica is a peculiarity among desserts and is considered a Slovene national culinary specialty. It prides itself with the European recognition of Traditional Speciality Guaranteed.

This old Prekmurian festive and ritual dish derives its name from güba or guba (meaning fold) and has been at home around the Mura river for a very long time.

  • Gibanica T.P.

    For centuries, prekmurska gibanica was served as a festive and ritual dish in Prekmurje. Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Prekmurska Gibanica origin

Originally it hails from the easternmost province, Prekmurje. The oldest written source reaches as far back as the year 1828 when the priest, Jožef Kosič, compiled a text, which mentions the Gibanica as a special Prekmurian dish; which is a must at wedding festivities and is also served to workers after finishing a big project.

Prekmurska gibanica was chosen to represent Slovenia in the Cafe Europe initiative of the Austrian presidency of the EU on Europe Day 2006.

Various textures in one cake

The special recipe and technology of production give the slice of Prekmurska gibanica a unique look, which is definitely enriched by the succession of colorful stuffings which endow the end-product with charm and attractiveness. The Prekmurska gibanica is distinguished by a rich specter of fragrance and taste, as well as a pleasant texture evoking feelings of softness, succulence, and fullness.

After joining the European Union the Prekmurian layer cake was protected on a European level with the label ‘Traditional Speciality Guaranteed’.

Rich, tender with a full taste – Prekmurska Gibanica is not a light dessert. We could also say that Prekmurska Gibanica is a cake with the most layers possible. There is a pastry (filo or strudel) and it has layers of poppy seeds, apple filling, cottage cheese filling, walnut filling, and an optional topping such as sour cream. Some recipes include raisins in the apple layer, but if you deviate too far from the original recipe it can’t keep the same name as the name and ingredients are protected by law. 

  • Prek gibanica T.petelinsek

    It is an interesting combination of cake and pastry, and we can say it is one of the most famous and popular Slovenian desserts. Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

A process for preparing and baking

Stir together flour, salt, lukewarm water and two tablespoons of oil to make dough, then let it rest for an hour.

Meanwhile prepare poppy, cheese, walnut and apple fillings. To make poppy seed filling, ground poppy seeds, add 50 g (1 4/5 oz) sugar and cinnamon to taste.

For cottage cheese filling mix cottage cheese, egg, sour cream, raisins and 10 g (2 tsp) sugar. For apple filling stir together ground walnuts and cinnamon. To make apple filling, first wash and peel the apples, then grate them.

Add 10 g (2 tsp) sugar, cinnamon to taste and grated lemon peel. After the dough has rested, roll it thin, let it dry somewhat, and cut it into sheets the size of the baking tin.

Grease the tin generously, place in the first layer of dough, and sprinkle it with oil. Spread over poppy seed filling, and cover with another sheet. Pour over cottage cheese filling, cover with dough, sprinkle with oil and the mixture of walnuts and cinnamon.

Again, cover with a sheet of dough, grease it and spread over grated apples. Repeat all these steps and cover the gibanica with dough. Pour over sour cream and bake at 180°C (350°F) for just over an hour.

Instead of making the rolled dough by yourself, you can buy ready-made dough for gibanica. You can also use less fat and sprinkle the gibanica with oil only immediately before baking. In this case coat every dough layer with sour cream.

Author: Vesna Žarkovič

Date: 28. October 2019

Time to read: 4 min