Tikvenik recipe -- Tikvenik is a traditional Bulgarian dessert. It is a kind of banitsa, or pie made with filo pastry, and it is filled with pumpkin. (Generally a banitsa can contain cheese, onions or nuts instead of pumpkin). Usually I substitute the pumpkin for butternut squash, which is more traditional in Bulgaria.
Traditionally, the Bulgarian Christmas Eve table weighs down under the abundance of food the earth has presented us with – fruits and vegetables, nuts and beans, honey and wine. The center of the festive dinner is the ritual bread, decorated with pastry fruits, flowers and ears of wheat – symbol of fertility. Inside the bread is hidden a fortune coin – symbol of prosperity.