Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 27

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat; keep warm.


Mix farmer cheese, eggs, evaporated milk, cottage cheese, rice and sugar in large bowl.


Unfold 2 sheets filo dough and spread flat, keeping remaining sheets covered with damp cloth to prevent drying. Lay 1 sheet filo on work surface. Brush with butter. Lay second sheet on top of first and brush with butter. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon bread crumbs on top. Spread 1/2 cup cheese filling in line across short end of filo, about 2 inches from short edge and 1 1/2 inches from long edges. Roll up like a log, as you would strudel, tucking open ends in. Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet that has been brushed with butter. Repeat with 2 more filo sheets, butter, bread crumbs and filling, until you have 9 rolls on baking sheet (you may have 1 or 2 leftover filo sheets.)


Brush tops of rolls with butter. Bake at 350 degrees until light brown, 20 to 25 minutes. (To freeze, wrap rolls well in foil; reheat before serving.) Cut each roll diagonally into thirds and serve warm or at room temperature.

Mary Rapoport wrote about her Romanian grandmother in “Sharing Recipes,” compiled by the Sisterhood of Kehillath Israel Jewish Congregation of Pacific Palisades: “When she fed you, she really wanted to hear just how much you loved eating her food, and if you didn’t let her know on your own, she’d ask you directly. . . . Shortly before my grandmother died, we made a date to make Bagcala together, so that I would be able to carry on this traditional dish. She would grab a handful of ingredients and I would thrust a measuring cup before her. . . . My grandmother was very into being immortal, and whenever I make this recipe she is remembered and then shared with the people who delight in her dessert. Her name was Rose Greenfield and I know she would enjoy being published.” This dish is served warm or room temperature with sour cream, fresh or crushed frozen strawberries and sprinkled with sugar. At a full brunch or late supper, it is served with champagne. Look for farmer cheese at markets with well-stocked cheese counters.

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