Whenever you visit Greece, there are certain things you must try from Greek cuisine. One of them is Bougatsa (Greek “Μπουγάτσα”) – a wonderful Greek pastry usually served for breakfast. The best-served is fresh and still hot straight from the oven. This delicacy has usually an interior of sweet vanilla cream surrounded by a crispy crust of phyllo – thin pastry dough that is a signature ingredient for many Greek pies. The pastry is sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon to achieve the full sweet richness of this Greek delicious wonder.
What’s interesting, the name Bougatsa (Greek “Μπουγάτσα”) comes from Byzantine Greek, more specifically, from Constantinople, when the City was still Greek, before 1453 A.D. The pastry is very popular all over Greece, particularly in the Northern parts such as Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece.
What strikes me about Bougatsa, is that the recipe is very easy and quick to prepare. And it results in a delicious sweet treat for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1L fresh milk
120g fine semolina
2 vanilla extracts
3 Greek phyllo sheets per Bougatsa – we prepared 4 Bougatsa pies
250g melted butter
- In a saucepan add milk, sugar, fine semolina and cornstarch. Boil the milk with the ingredients over a medium heat stirring continuously. When the milk boils, remove it from the heat and add vanilla extracts.
- Leave the vanilla cream in a fridge for 2 hours or more, until the cream thickens.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- We recomend to use 3 layers of phyllo per portion, because this gives the best consistency of crust and cream together.
- Using a pastry brush, brush a sheet of phyllo dough with butter and place it in the pan. Continue in the same way for each phyllo gently, and place them on top of each other.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- When the cream is ready and thick, pour the custard mixture over the central part of phyllo. You need to put up to 3 spatulas of cream, not more, in the central part. Flatten it into a square in the middle. Then you need to cover the cream with the edge of phyllo from one side. You need to cover the top of folded phyllo cover with few strokes of butter. Then fold the another edge of phyllo and cover with few strokes of butter as well. Then fold top and botton parts of phyllo. Like that you form a square shape. Cover with few strokes of butter.The result should look like that:
- Repeat the same actions with the remaining phyllo sheets and cream and place your bougatsas into preheated oven. Bake them for 15 -20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Sprinkle your bougatsas with icing sugar and cinnamon and enjoy amazing taste and wonderful smell of vanilla in the whole house.