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Recipe for Bougatsa – Greek Style Custard Pastry

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Macro closeup of traditional greek bougatsa, covered in powdered sugar.Greek Style Custard Pastry (Bougatsa) Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup semolina
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 sheets phyllo dough
  • Melted butter, for brushing
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Cinnamon, for dusting

Directions to Make Bougatsa:

Add the egg, egg yolk, and sugar to a medium bowl and beat on medium speed using an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and heat on medium-low, whisking constantly, until the milk is heated all the way through. Remove the mixture from the heat and slowly add the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking briskly as you do. Continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken.

Add the mixture back into the saucepan and heat on low until warm. Continue whisking the contents of the pan until the custard begins to thicken. This should take about 4 minutes. Sprinkle in the semolina as you continue whisking.

Stir well until the mixture thickens even further. This should take another 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Remove the pan from the heat and place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface. After the mixture is cool, stir in the lemon zest and vanilla extract.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s time to make the pastry.

Brush the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with melted butter. Add 1 sheet of filo and brush with butter. Repeat with 3 more sheets of filo. Spread half of the custard mixture evenly over the 4th sheet of filo. Add another sheet of filo and brush with butter. Repeat with 1 more sheet. Spread the rest of the custard mixture over that piece and then add another sheet of filo. Brush with butter. Repeat with the remaining sheets of filo and brush the final piece with the rest of the butter.

Place the baking dish in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the top of the pastry is golden brown. This should take about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the counter. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon just before serving.

**Please Note:  Recommended cook times for GreekBoston.com Greek recipes vary depending on elevation, environmental conditions, the cookware being used, and the nature of the oven or stove. Although we have given approximations, these don’t always take into account your unique environment.

PLEASE NOTE: Greek recipes can be slightly different based on a variety of reasons, such as the region of Greece that the recipe is being made in. If you have seen this Greek recipe made another way, please send us an email to greekboston@worldwidegreeks.com and we will evaluate your suggestion. Thanks!

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