Bougatsa is very easy to make and of course very nice to eat. Ancient Greeks made a pie that could be called an ‘early bougatsa’. It was a kind of a pie with various fillings. The years and eons passed and the bougatsa pie became a very popular sweet in Istanbul and Smyrna. The refugees that came to Greece brought the recipe with them and this pie became a firm favorite throughout the country. It uses few ingredients and can be put together in a few minutes.
Ingredients 450 gr. milk 80 gr. semolina 2 eggs 120 gr. sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla 1 tablespoonful lemon zest About 1 packet phyllo dough Butter or margarine for the phyllo dough, melted Powdered sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle on top of the pie
Put the milk with the semolina in a pot and simmer until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly. When the mixture thickens, remove it from the fire. Beat the eggs with the sugar and add the vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the semolina mixture little by little and stirring vigorously. Add the lemon zest, stir and keep it aside while you line a pan with phyllo dough.
Prepare a medium pan 35 x 25 cm by brushing some melted butter. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough on the pan and brush lightly with melted butter. Place altogether 6 – 8 phyllo sheets brushing each sheet with melted butter. Pour the semolina mixture in the pan. Fold the overhanging sheets of dough over the filling and lay about 5 sheets of phyllo dough on top, brushing each one with melted butter. As the sheets will be rather large for the pan, you can fold them in two brushing them with the butter. Cut the surplus dough with a sharp knife. Brush the top with melted butter as well.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180o C for about 30 – 40 minutes.
While it is still hot sprinkle some cinnamon all over the top and then dust with oodles of powdered sugar. It is usually eaten warm.