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Bougatsa Recipe: A Traditional Greek Custard Dessert Pie

This Greek dessert bougatsa recipe takes 50 minutes to prepare and around 45 minutes to cook. For the record, I first tasted bougatsa (or mpougatsa) when I visited Thessaloniki for vacations. Thessaloniki is, by the way, a superb culinary destination and the motherland of bougatsa!! The one I tried wasn’t homemade as I bought it from a bakery store. The baker had just taken it out the oven and the entire store was full of heavenly scent. As a result, there were dozens of people waiting for the bougatsa to be ready. Being intrigued, I decided to taste it. I still don’t realize what took me unusually long to taste and bake myself this mouthwatering sweet pie. Consequently, it is one dessert you need to bake before you die!




What makes bougatsa remarkably special? It is the harmonic combination of its rich and creamy custard filling, with the thin and crispy phyllo which is topped with sugar and cinnamon! This bougatsa recipe is one of the best I have ever tried. You can replace the lemon zest with vanilla to provide a special taste to the cream. Either way, it is delicious (and effortless to cook).

This traditional bougatsa recipe serves 8-10 persons.

bougatsa recipe

Bougatsa Recipe – Ingredients

  • 5 teacups of milk
  • 1 teacup of sugar
  • ¾ of teacup of fine semolina
  • 3 eggs
  • The zest of one lemon (optional)
  • 500 g. of phyllo dough
  • ¾ of teacup of melted butter
  • Powdered sugar (for topping)
  • Cinnamon (optional)

Bougatsa Recipe – Instructions

  1. Start this bougatsa recipe by taking a pot and add the milk, sugar, lemon zest and bring to boil. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  2. When milk is boiled, lower heat and slowly add the semolina to milk.
  3. Continuously stir with a spatula so semolina does not lump.
  4. Allow the mixture to boil until a thick crème is formed.
  5. Remove pot from oven.
  6. Take a bowl and lightly beat the eggs.
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the custard mixture. Stir well with a whisking wire. Allow mixture to cool down before you use it.
  8. Grease a baking dish with melted butter. Place 6-7 of the phyllo sheets into the baking dish having brushed each phyllo with butter.
  9. Evenly spread the bougatsa mixture.
  10. In the same way, cover the mixture with the other of phyllo sheets having again brushed each phyllo with butter. Brush well its surface with butter.
  11. Take a knife and cut the bougatsa on its surface into pieces without reaching the custard.
  12. Preheat oven to 392° F degrees.
  13. Place pan in the oven and bake the bougatsa for around 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  14. Remove bougatsa from the oven. Cut it into pieces and allow it to cool down.
  15. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon before serving.

I hope you like this Greek dessert bougatsa recipe as much as I do. Check out my food blog for more traditional Greek dessert recipes. Enjoy!

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