Bosnian Food

How to Make: Suparnjik – A Chard Pie from Bosnia

The History

Dubrovnik-born writer and ethnographer Vid Vuletić (1853 – 1933) travelled through Bosnia at the end of the 19th century and heard from the local people about a historic pie, fast dying out, known as suparnjik. Baked in the ashes of a wood-fired oven, it comprised a thinly rolled dough, on which was placed a mixture of ‘sweet greens’ (chard/kale/or maybe raštika cabbage), cheese, walnuts and honey, surrounded by a rim covered with almonds, more walnuts and sometimes a little garlic too.

I first stumbled across suparnjik whilst looking through an old Bosnian cookery book by Alija Lakišić (who by the time of publication estimated the pie to have been extinct for 100 years already). Doing some further research, I quickly discovered suparnjik’s Croatian cousin: soparnik – still made today in the Poljica region from chard, parsley, onion and olive oil, sandwiched between two thin layers of dough – which helped to understand what the Bosnian version may have looked like.

Below is the recipe for my recreated suparnjik, as true to the original description as possible (although I did skip the garlic for the rim). The result was deliciously sweet, with the unusual chard, cheese and honey combination creating a surprisingly addictive filling.

How to Make It

A Bosnian Suparnjik char pie alongside a rolling pin and tea towel

For the dough:
300g flour
1 tbsp olive oil
150ml water
A pinch of salt

Ingredient ratio for the filling:
4 parts chopped chard (or kale)
2 parts grated/sliced cheese
1 part chopped apple
1 part chopped walnut
Enough runny honey to thinly coat the mixture

For the crust:
A handful of almonds, finely crushed
A handful of walnuts, finely crushed

  1. Combine the flour, olive oil, salt and enough of the water as needed to create a smooth dough. Let it sit for 30 minutes before remoistening with a little water if needed and rolling out as thinly as possible with a rolling pin.
  2. Sprinkle a baking tray with flour and lay the dough on top. Trim the sides leaving a few centimetres extra around the rim. Then twist the rim over to create an edge for the pie.
  3. Separately, combine the chopped chard, cheese, apple and walnut in a bowl and enough runny honey to lightly coat the mixture. Spoon onto the empty face of the pie. Then garnish the rim with a brush of olive oil and a scattering of the crushed almonds and walnuts
  4. Bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes
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