Gibanica is a traditional pastry dish from Serbia popular all over the Balkans. It is usually made with white cheese and eggs. Recipes can range from sweet to savoury, and from simple to festive and elaborate multi-layered cakes.
A derivative of the Serbian verb gibati, meaning "to fold; sway, swing, rock", the pastry was mentioned in Serbian linguist Vuk StefanoviŠ Karad×iŠ's Serbian dictionary in 1818. It is traditionally served for breakfast with kefir or plain yogurt. Other than in the Balkans, Gibanica can be found worldwide in restaurants serving Serbian cuisine.It is one of the most popular and recognizable pastry dishes from the Balkans, whether served on festive occasions, or as a comforting family snack. In Serbia, the dish is often consumed at traditional events such as Christmas, Easter and Slava.
In 2007, the Gibanica officially became an export brand of Serbia. At the Brand Fair in Belgrade, the food industry "Alexandria" presented a half-baked and frozen gibanica for the international market.
The original recipe for Gibanica included traditionally homemade phyllo dough and cow's milk cheese. Homemade cheese can be feta or sirene. The pie is usually made as "Gu×vara" (Crumpled pie), so the phyllo dough in the middle is crumpled and filled. Besides cheese, the fill contains eggs, milk, kaymak, lard, salt and water. Also, stuffing may include spinach, meat, nettle, potato and onion. In order to speed up preparation, phyllo dough from a store can be used and sunflower oil or olive oil can be used instead of lard.
Gibanica is a round-shaped pastry with crispy golden-brown crust. The inside is multi-layered, and includes crumpled dough with small pieces of cheese between each layer. Gibanica can be served hot in the morning and is commonly accompanied by yogurt.