Bougatsa is one of the most traditional Greek pastries and the cause of much controversy between north and south Greece. You see, for the south there is only one type of Bougatsa, the one I make in today’s recipe. For the north, there are many types, filled with various ingredients, including minced meat.
You can say, therefore, that today I’m showing you how to make a ‘lazy’ southern Greek Bougatsa. I’m saying lazy because I am not going to show you how to make the pastry but only the cream (I have used filo pastry instead). That way you can really have a delicious dessert in less than an hour. I will show you how to make the proper Bougatsa pastry in another blog.
4 cups of full fat milk
Quarter of a cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup fine semolina (Ψηλό σιμιγδάλι for my Greek readers)
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
500gr filo pastry
2/3 cup melted butter
1. Heat the milk in a pan under low heat.
2. In another pan, melt ¼ cup butter and add the semolina, stirring well.
3. Add the milk little by little and keep on stirring vigorously until all the milk has been added. Be very careful not to add too much milk initially, as you may leave lumps of semolina in which would be difficult to dilute.
4. Add the sugar and stir well under low heat. Bring to boil and keep stirring until a cream is formed.
5. Take off heat and let cream cool down a bit. Stir the cream frequently to avoid any crust forming on top.
6. Whisk the eggs and the egg yolks and stir them in the cream, together with the vanilla extract.
7. Cover the surface of the cream with kitchen foil to avoid any crust forming.
8. Lightly butter a medium sized oven pan and spread half of the filo pastry sheets, brushing each sheet with melted butter.
9. Add the cream and then spread the remaining filo pastry sheets, again brushing each one with melted butter.
10. Cook in the oven (200C) for about half an hour or until pastry is golden.
11. Serve warm, adding icing sugar and cinnamon (NOTE: In Greece you sprinkle the icing sugar and cinnamon directly on the cream, rather than the pastry, as it blends nicely and adds to the taste).