Bougatsa (Greek Cream-Filled Phyllo Pastries)

Recipe by evelynathens
READY IN: 43mins




  • Beat eggs until frothy; beat in sugar until thick and foamy, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
  • Heat milk in medium pot until hot but not boiling.
  • Remove from heat and whisk into egg mixture in a thin stream until all the milk mixture is used up – never stop whisking.
  • Pour custard mixture back into pot and set on medium-low heat; cook, stirring constantly, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Gradually sprinkle in semolina, letting it flow out of your hand in a thin stream; add a pinch of salt.
  • Reduce heat to very low, cook, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth, about 5-6 minutes. Whisk in pieces of cut up butter, incorporating completely into the semolina custard.
  • Remove, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard and cool completely.
  • When cool, stir in juice, lemon zest and vanilla.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Unroll one sheet of phyllo, keeping remainder covered with dampened kitchen towel.
  • Place on a work surface, with narrow end facing you.
  • Brush lightly with melted butter.
  • Place 3 tbsp of custard on lower 1/3 of phyllo.
  • Using a thin, flexible spatula, spread custard into a wide rectangle, approximately 10x5 inches, nearly covering lower third of phyllo.
  • Fold right and left sides of phyllo towards center so that edges just meet; lightly brush folded sides with butter.
  • Fold lower third up and brush with butter.
  • Fold upper third down and brush with butter.
  • It should now look like an envelope.
  • Place on a lightly buttered baking sheet and repeat envelope-making procedure 7-9 more times (depending on how many bougatsa you are making).
  • Brush tops of bougatsa with any remaining butter and bake until golden-brown, about 15-18 minutes.
  • Let cool 20 minutes before serving.
  • Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar (you should see a coating of the icing sugar) and cinnamon.