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Bougatsa (Custard Filled Phyllo Pastry)

May 5, 2014 by: Zoe Vlachos Phyllo ,sweets

Sweet creamy custard, enclosed in crunchy, buttery phyllo and dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon! What’s not to love? This delicious Greek pastry recipe will have you making it time and time again!


The Semolina Custard:

  • 2 cups of warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup semolina
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

The Phyllo:

Store Bought Phyllo Option

  • 12 sheets of store bought phyllo
  • 2/3 melted butter
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • cinnamon for dusting

Home Made Phyllo Option

  • 2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 cup water (room temperature)
  • approx. 1/2 cup melted butter for brushing


The Semolina Custard:

In a large, heavy pot, melt butter over medium high heat and add semolina. Whisk vigorously, while slowly pouring the warm milk  and sugar into the pot. Turn the heat to low and continue to whisk until a thick, creamy texture has been achieved. Then remove pot from heat and allow to cool slightly. Whisk in the beaten egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Let stand until custard has cooled completely. You can put in refrigerator for quicker results.

Assembling The Bougatsa Using Store Bought Phyllo:

Lightly brush a baking pan with melted butter. Line the bottom of a 8x 11 pan with 6 sheets of phyllo, brushing each sheet with the butter. Pour the custard filling into the centre of phyllo and fold the edges of phyllo in over the custard. Top with the remaining phyllo, brushing each with butter and tucking under so that the pastry looks like a parcel. Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. To serve, dust with icing sugar and cinnamon!

Assembling The Bougatsa Using Home Made Phyllo:

The Dough

In a large bowl, add the flour and salt, mix with a fork and create a well in the centre.   Add the water and oil into the well and work the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a wooden spoon.  On a floured surface, knead dough until smooth. If sticky, you can add a little more flour. Form an even log, and divide equally in half. Roll into two balls. Using a rolling pin, flatten both balls into disk shapes- approximately the size of a standard pita bread. Brush both disks of dough with oil/butter and stack them, one on top of the other. Cover the stack with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for one hour.

Opening The Phyllo And Assembling The Bougatsa:

You will need a long, clean and oiled rectangular table or work surface.  Place the stack of dough flats on the work surface and using a rolling pin, roll over the stack, sealing both flats together. Begin to gently pull the dough outwards stretching it into a rectangular shape, as thin as it will stretch.  Once it has fully stretched, brush with oil/butter and carefully fold the phyllo over to make it half the size.  Then using a knife or pizza cutter, cut it into two equal pieces. If there are any thick edges, cut them off and discard.  Place the custard filling diagonally across the middle of one sheet of phyllo.  Pull up each corner of phyllo towards the centre (like an envelope) to seal the filling. Carefully lift the sealed “envelope of custard” and place the fold-side down onto the other phyllo sheet. Pull up each corner of phyllo, loosly, towards the centre giving room for custard sac to expand. Place on a greased baking pan.  Brush the top with oil/butter and place in pre-heated oven of 400 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until golden. To serve, dust with icing sugar and cinnamon!




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