Balkan Tulumbe Pastries Recipe

November 28, 2019

If deep-fried dough soaked in syrup doesn’t sound over the top to you, then you’ll absolutely love this next recipe we prepared for you. Tulumbe are a super sweet dessert hailing from the former Ottoman Empire. This age-old dessert is still quite popular today in Turkey and throughout the Balkans. Delicious and unique, Tulumbe are a must-try for foodies with a sweet tooth, however, keep in mind that this is one of those desserts you shouldn’t indulge in too often, as it contains quite a lot of calories. 

This article is going to serve as an introduction to what just might be the most unique dessert in Balkan cuisine. It will also serve as a guide on how to make Tulumbe and will include a recipe for those eager to try out this truly decadent but irreplaceable dessert.

A Dessert Like No Other

Describing Tulumbe without the use of taste buds is quite a difficult task as they are hard to compare to some of the more conventional desserts. The consistency of the dough is similar to the French choux pastry in the sense that it’s light and soft. Tulumbe have an oblong shape that resembles that of French Éclairs, but that is where all comparisons between the two end.

The uniqueness of this dessert lies in the syrup used to soak the dough. The syrup is responsible for the delicious and sweet flavor, as well as the final look. Made of sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice, the syrup gives Tulumbe a fresh, sweet, and slightly citrusy flavor. 

If you’re visiting the Balkans for a food-inspired vacation, you’ll find that the best tasting Tulumbe reside in Bosnia. Traditional pastry shops can be found all over their capital city, and each shop has its own way of making this dessert. Tulumbe are usually deep-fried, however, today, we’re going to show you how to bake them in the oven.

Oven-baked Tulumbe Recipe

If you’re eager to try out this dessert, but you’re worried about the high-calorie intake, you’ll be happy to know that baking the dough in the oven will result in slightly lower calorie value. 

The ingredients you’ll need:

The Dough:

  • 1,5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces of unsalted butter
  • 1,5 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 large eggs

The Syrup: 

  • 1,5 cups of granulated sugar
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  1. Start by making the syrup. Take a large saucepan and mix together the granulated sugar, water, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil before reducing the heat and cooking it for about 12 minutes. Let it cool down and then divide it into two separate pans.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F before making the dough. For the dough, you’ll want to mix melted butter with 1,5 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Then gradually start adding flour and salt. Stir the mixture until the dough becomes dense and consistent. Add the eggs and make sure to do it one at a time. 
  3. Now comes the baking part. In order to create that authentic oblong shape, you’ll need a pastry bag with a large star tip on the bottom. On a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper, gently squeeze out 5-inch long lines. Throw them in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they turn golden brown. 
  4. Finally, take the hot Tulumbe from the oven and submerge them in the syrup you’ve previously made. Tulumbe are always served cold, so you can leave them to soak overnight.

Did this recipe tickle your curiosity for Balkan cuisine? Then stop by our South Beach location and find out what else we have in store for you. Rakija Lounge is waiting for you with all their juicy and meaty goodness, as well as a plethora of delicious desserts.

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