There are many things I miss about growing up in Greece , and many memories that I now realise involved certain foods , smells and flavours. Every Saturday , after the early morning veg and fruit shop from the weekly markets , my dad would take me to our favourite bougatsa place, and treat me to a portion of custard filled bougatsa , while he would enjoy his Greek coffee .
The shop was tiny, big enough for 4-5 standing costumers at one time , service was fast and there was a constant buzz .As they were exclusively selling bougatsa , all you had to shout out when ordering was the flavour you wanted , ‘Crema! Spanaki! Tiri!Kima!’ (Custard, spinach, feta cheese or mince meat) . Whether you took your order to go , or sat at one of the few tables set out on the pavement , your portion would come wrapped in paper , like a little parcel you had to open up and dig in. It had the freshest ,crispiest , multilayered pastry and the creamiest , most delicious filling . The ultimate accompaniment , was a carton of Topino or Milko chocolate milk , served ice gold .
It is very easy to make , easier than I thought , but I have been researching recipes for that flavour and texture I remember as a kid , and one that comes pretty close is the ing :
Ingredients: 2x packs of filo pastry • 150 gr. unsalted butter (to brush the pastry with)and an extra 60gr to use in the custard mix• 1½ liter of milk• 200gr. fine semolina•200 gr. sugar • 1 tbsp vanilla essence• pinch of salt•
cinnamon and sugar for serving.
In a saucepan put milk, semolina, sugar, vanilla, salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until a smooth cream is reached. Remove from heat and add the 60 gr. of butter. Stir and let cool ’til thickened. In a baking dish lay 5 buttered sheets at the bottom and pour the filling. On top place 5 more sheets, evenly buttered. Bake at 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes, on the center rack. Serve warm with dusted cinnamon and granulated sugar.