Easy Vegan Apple Burek (Posna Pita Sa Jabukama)

This vegan apple burek (aka posna pita sa jabukama) is packed with apples, walnuts, cinnamon and vanilla. If you enjoy phyllo pastry desserts, you’ll fall in love with this one. 

It’s a well-known pastry style in all former Yugoslav countries and can be made with a variety of fillings. Apple would have to be one of my favourites. They can also be done with pumpkin, “cheese”, potato, cherries and mixed veggies. 

I’m planning on creating all the different flavours for you in slightly different techniques of using phyllo dough. However, today, I’ll be sharing a vegan phyllo dough apple recipe.

What is burek?

Burek, as it’s known in former Yugoslav countries, traditionally came from Turkey, Armenia and Greece. Many European countries have their own version of how they use phyllo pastry (homemade or store-bought).

Burek is what I grew up eating. I’ve had all variations, including ground mince and cheese before I became vegan back in 2014.

Those two are the most popular and traditional varieties. They’re baked pastries made using a thin flaky dough which is filled with your choice of sweet or savoury ingredients. 

Dish with burek with apples scattered around.

Kitchen tools needed to make this vegan apple burek

This recipe doesn’t require many kitchen tools. Here’s the list of things you’ll need:

  • Round or square (preferably ceramic or tin) medium-sized baking dish
  • Food processor with grater function or hand-grater
  • Knife or plastic bag and rolling pin (for smashing walnuts)
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Pastry brush
  • Medium bowl
  • Mixing spoon

Apple burek sliced up close - side profile.

Tips for making this delicious vegan apple dessert

It’s a simple recipe to create but requires you to pay close attention to how it’s made to achieve the same results. This is why we’ve created a video to demonstrate the technique. If you’d like to see the full-length video, you can do so on YouTube

Here are a few tips to get you the best results:

  • If you’re using frozen phyllo pastry, follow the instructions on the packet before use. You may need to thaw it out first.  
  • Phyllo is also known as filo or fillo pastry in some regions. 
  • I used Royal Gala apples in this recipe. They’re my favourite variety of apples here in Australia. You can use pretty much any variety of apple you like in this burek. Just keep in mind that some are sweeter than others. So you may need to adjust the sugar levels accordingly. If you use a tart apple like a Granny Smith add 1-2 tbsp more sugar. If you’d prefer to reduce or omit sugar altogether, you can do so. 
  • Pretty much any variety of apple is suitable for this recipe. However, the more floury variety are best left for things like apple sauce. 
  • I like to leave the skin on the apples as it’s a waste to peel them. You get some extra fibre in your burek and have less work to do! It’s a win, win. 
  • Sultanas are often added to a pastry like this one. I opted out as I wanted to keep it simple, you can, however, add a small handful if you wish. 
  • This recipe traditionally doesn’t use walnuts, but I wanted to add them in for a nice crunch. If you don’t have them on hand, you can leave them out.

Burek on wire rack.

Other vegan apple desserts you’ll love:

  1. 6-Ingredient Apple Pie Overnight Oats
  2. Vegan Apple Crumble (Gluten-Free)
  3. Apple, Blueberry and Vanilla Vegan Oat Bran Porridge
  4. Baked Apples with Dates and Nuts (Tufahije)

I wanted to create something a little different, as it’s not quite a phyllo dough apple strudel or an apple pie, but something that resembles the consistency of a typical burek, but with apples. 

The layering is critical in this dish. If you don’t do it as I have demonstrated, it will come out differently. Same flavours, but it won’t have the beautiful airiness and soft texture from the pastry with every bite.

Slice of burek - front profile shot.

Other Yugoslav recipes you’ll love:

  1. Vegan Stuffed Peppers (Posne Punjene Paprike)
  2. Vegan Gibanica Recipe (Serbian Cheese Pie)
  3. Vegan Kremšnita (Vanilla & Custard Cream Cake)
  4. 3-Ingredient Chestnut Puree With Whipped Coconut Cream (Kesten Pire)
  5. Sauerkraut and Bean Stew (Slovenian Jota)
  6. Serbian Baked Beans (Prebranac)
  7. Three Incredibly Simple Silverbeet Recipes

If you try this recipe, let me know! Would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest

Easy Vegan Apple Burek (Posna Pita Sa Jabukama)

Easy Vegan Apple Burek (Posna Pita Sa Jabukama)

Yield: Serves 6-8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Beautifully textured flaky sweet phyllo pastry with apples, walnuts and cinnamon. This vegan apple burek can be served as breakfast, a dessert or afternoon tea. Great both warm or cold.

Ingredients

  • 16 sheets phyllo pastry sheets*
  • 600g (1.32lb) around 4 medium-sized apples*
  • ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • Neutral oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (390F).
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush the inside of your baking dish, including the sides.
  3. Core the apples and grate them. You can do this by hand or in your food processor. It's much quicker to put them through the food processor.
  4. Add the apples to a bowl and add in the walnuts, coconut sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir well.
  5. Add some oil to a cup or bowl and get it ready with your pastry brush for brushing over the phyllo sheets.
  6. Remove the phyllo pastry from the package and lay it out flat on your working bench.
  7. Oil your first sheet of pastry and lay it on your pre-oiled baking dish. Oil the second sheet, adding it to cover the other side of the baking dish. They should be overlapping in the middle but covering the edges of the baking dish.
  8. Take a handful of the apple mixture and sprinkle it across the bottom of the baking dish.
  9. Next, brush another sheet of pastry with oil. Just a thin layer of it will be enough. You also don't have to cover the whole sheet, around 80% will be fine. Slightly scrunch up the phyllo sheet and add it to one corner of the baking dish, covering the apple mix below. Repeat this process until you have four sheets of phyllo covering the single layer of apple mix. I do one in each corner. (See video for clarification).
  10. Continue adding a layer of the apple mix, followed by four sheets of scrunched and oiled pastry. This should be four layers of apples and three layers of scrunched and oiled phyllo sheets.
  11. There should be some phyllo hanging off the sides of the baking dish. Place them over the top of the filling.
  12. You should have two phyllo sheets left. Brush each of the remaining sheets of pastry and fold them in half, nicely covering the top of the burek with the phyllo.
  13. Place in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. If you notice that it's golden on top sooner, cover it with foil and return back to bake.
  14. Remove from oven and let it rest for around 30 minutes to an hour before cutting.
  15. This dish can be served warm or cold.

Notes

* The phyllo pastry that I use is a 375g (13.23oz) packet. After I make the burek, I have 5 sheets of pastry left.

* I used Royal Gala (Australian variety). See tips for more information about which apples to use.

You can find the full-length video of this recipe over on our YouTube channel.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 713Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 577mgCarbohydrates: 84gFiber: 7gSugar: 36gProtein: 13g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically. The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed.

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