Zura’s Imereti Khachapuri

Georgians make cheese bread called khachapuri. Georgia also has strikingly different climates in different areas. Because of these this, each region of Georgia has its own version due to regional variations in taste, cheese and style. The Adjara khachapuri has an egg baked on top of it, for instance.

While in Georgia, I stayed in Imereti. Their cheese used in the bread is particularly salty…almost too salty for me to enjoy the cheese by itself. However, in the khachapuri, though, it’s amazing. This cheese is not readily available outside of Georgia which poses particular challenges when trying to fix this particular version abroad. Thankfully my Georgian host brother went to grad school in the USA. His homesickness led him to do the hard part of adapting the recipe to local ingredients. His recipe is both wonderful and simple. To ring in 2016, I am sharing it.

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Ingredients:
Two (2) two-pack of puff pastry sheets
8 ounces of feta cheese
8 ounces of mozzarella cheese
one egg

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1. Combine the cheeses in a bowl, making sure to crumble the feta.

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2. Add the egg and mix the cheese and egg together.

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3. Turn your oven to 350F.

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4. On a cookie sheet, lay your bottom layer of puff pastry sheet. Add half of your cheese and egg mixture.

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5. Add the second layer of puff pastry sheet on top and seal the edges with a twist.

6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 for the second khachapuri.

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7. Bake at 350F until golden brown (about 40 minutes).

While baking, the pastry will puff in the middle. We add a small hole in the center to help with that, but it’s not necessary. You can also use the entire cheese and egg mix in one khachapuri for massive cheesiness. Through experimentation, we’ve found that you can use muenster cheese for a slightly less salty but more buttery form of cheesiness.