This is probably one of my favorite Greek desserts.  Now I do like my share of Baklava too, but I just love this dessert and I will normally end a greek feast with a nice slice of Bougatsa.  Bougatsa is semolina based custard, baked in phyllo shell with lots of cinnamon and honey glaze.   Any dessert with custard and cinnamon or nutmeg I'm pretty much going to love.  Give me something dough-y around the outside and I'm in love even more.  You can make your own phyllo dough if you would like but on this one I used store bought.  I will leave home made phyllo sheets or "pita" in greek for another post.  I used a large tart pan to make mine but you can use whatever baking dish you have.


4 cups milk

1 stick butter

1 tbsp vanilla

3 eggs

1 yolk egg

3/4 cup fine semolina

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 lemon zested

1 stick butter melted

Phyllo dough thawed,  3 to 4 sheets on the bottom and 3 to 4 on top


Powder sugar

honey syrup

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup of honey

1/4 cup of agava

1/2 lemon juiced

For the Custard

Add butter to a medium size pot on medium heat.  Melt the butter completely and then add the milk and zest.  Bring to a boil and turn off.  Meanwhile add eggs, yolk, and sugar to a mixing bowl and whip until pale white and fluffy.  Add semolina to the egg mixture and mix well.  Then temper the milk mixture into the egg mixture a ladle at a time. Once you have incorporated half of the milk into the egg mixture pour everything back into the pot.  Turn the pot on medium low heat and stir continuously.  You will need to cook this for about 10 to 15 minutes without scorching or curdling, until the mixture becomes thick.  Pour into a bowl and cool completely.

Preheat Oven 350 degrees.

Once the custard is cooled take out the phyllo dough.  When working with phyllo dough you have to have all your components ready because you have to move fast before the dough dries out.  Brush the tart pan with a little butter all around the inside.  Then take a sheet of phyllo and brush generously with melted butter.  Take the next sheet and place on top and repeat the process.  Do the same thing again one more time.  If you feel like you have too many cracks or breaks feel free to add another layer making 4 total.  Place the compounded layers of buttered phyllo dough and line the inside of the tart pan folding over the excess on the outside.  Trim away any of the really excessive phyllo dough with scissors.  Then take your custard and fill the tart pan to the top (you might have a little leftover custard). Repeat the process of buttering the layered phyllo dough sheets until you have 3 to 4 layers and then place on top.  Let some of the phyllo drape over the sides and cut away any excess.  Then butter the top phyllo dough and all around the sides of the tart pan so the top layer of phyllo sticks to the bottom layer.

Place the bougatsa in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the phyllo is golden brown.  Take the bougatsa out of the oven and cover heavily with cinnamon and powdered sugar

For the Syrup

Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a bowl.  Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until you have a nice light syrup and then turn off.

To server cut a big slice of bougatsa and drizzle with syrup.  This is normally served warm and it is delicious!