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Custard pie with filo (bougatsa)

Bougatsa Source: supplied (by Angela Nicolettou)

Bougatsa is one of the most popular Greek deserts that can be served all day long, even for breakfast. Angela Nicolettou shares her delicious recipe with us for a no-fail bougatsa.

Bougatsa – custard pie


1lt full cream milk

¾ cup fine semolina

¾ cup caster sugar

zest of one lemon

1 vanilla bean or 1tsp vanilla paste

3 eggs

1 packet filo pastry

½ cup of melted butter

1 tbs cinnamon

½ cup icing sugar


Mix and eggs and sugar until well combined and set aside while you prepare the milk.

Heat milk, lemon zest and vanilla (if using bean split in half and scrape out seeds, adding both seeds and pod to the milk) to just before boiling point. Reduce heat to a simmer and slowly add the semolina, while continually stirring until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and add the egg and sugar mix, while continuing to stir. Place back on a low heat and stir until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat (discard vanilla pod if using) and cover the custard with a piece of glad wrap placed directly on the surface (this is so it does not form a crust as it cools). Leave to cool before using to assemble the bougatsa.

Heat oven to 180C. Butter baking tray (or line with baking paper) and set aside.


 Butter 3 pieces of filo pastry and place them on top of each other. Place a thick strip of custard in the middle of the filo pastry (about 1/3 of the quantity) so that there is enough pastry on each side to fold over and cover the custard. Fold in the sides and butter, fold the top and butter and fold the bottom and butter. You should have a neat parcel.

Butter 3 more pieces of filo and place the parcel on the middle (folded side down) and repeat the folding process as before. Place the parcel, folded side down on a baking tray and butter.

Repeat with remaining pastry and cream. Wet your hands and sprinkle the top of the pies with water. Bake parcels for about 30 minutes until golden.

Remove from the oven, dust with the cinnamon and icing sugar mix. Cut into 6 pieces and serve hot.

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