Sweet bougatsa with homemade ‘Milko’

Sweet bougatsa with homemade ‘Milko’
  • Serves icon Serves 8
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45 min, Oven time 15-17 min

This recipe is from Christina Mouroglou’s cookbook, Mazi: Modern Greek Food. A northern Greece speciality, bougatsa can be either savoury, made with creamy feta cheese, or sweet, made with custard, cinnamon and icing sugar, typically eaten in the morning with a side of chocolate milk.

Lisa Faulkner’s Greek custard tart is similar to this one but it is baked for longer, for a firmer set custard.


For the chocolate milk

  • 800ml milk
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 30g honey
  • 60g caster sugar

For the pastry cream

  • 1 litre milk
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 60g fine semolina
  • 60g cornflour
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out, or 1–2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest of 1 orange

For the filo

  • 500g filo pastry
  • 200g butter, melted

To serve

  • Icing sugar
  • Ground cinnamon


  1. First make the chocolate milk. Put the milk and cocoa powder in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add the honey and sugar and continue to heat, stirring constantly, until they have dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Then pour into a clean bottle and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  2. For the pastry cream, put the milk and half the sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Meanwhile, using a balloon whisk, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar in a heatproof bowl until well combined, then whisk in the semolina and cornflour until smooth. Add the vanilla and citrus zest and whisk again.
  4. While whisking constantly, add the hot milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream until well blended. Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan over a medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 240°C (475°F), Gas Mark 9. Lay 3 filo pastry sheets, one on top of the other, in the base of a large shallow baking tin, about 35 x 40cm (14 x 16 inches), brushing each with melted butter as you stack them. Pour in the pastry cream and spread it out in an even layer. Cover with another 3 filo pastry sheets, again brushing each with melted butter. Fold in the overhanging filo around the edges of the baking tin, making sure there are no holes, to make it look like a sealed parcel.Brush the top well with butter and bake for 15–17 minutes until golden.
  6. Remove the bougatsa from the oven and cut the parcel into small squarish portions. Sprinkle with lots of icing sugar and cinnamon and serve hot with a glass of the cold chocolate milk.

Recipe By

Christina Mouroglou


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