Legendary Dishes | Bougátsa Μπουγάτσα (cheese custard pie)

GREECE

The double act that is filo and feta among the traditional pie dishes of Greece has a tendancy to over-shadow the food acts that require kefalotyri, the spicy hard cheese made from goat or sheep milk, and ladotiri, the salty hard cheese also made from goat or sheep milk.

Bougátsa is one of these acts. Generally a custard pie made with semolina it is often transformed into a cheese custard pie made with kefalotyri and ladotyri to produce an enigmatic flavour that is unforgettable.

Pastry

  • 12 leaves of filo pastry
  • 120 g butter, melted
  • Butter, for greasing

Cheese Sauce

  • 1 litre milk
  • 250 g kefalotyri cheese
  • 250 g ladotyri mytilinis cheese
  • 80 g butter
  • 80 g white flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 5 g black pepper
  • Nutmeg, 20 gratings
  • Salt, pinch

Heat milk and butter in separate saucepans. Add flour to the butter saucepan to make a roux. Increase heat. Using a wire whisk stir the warm milk into the roux. Add black pepper and nutmeg. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat, leave to cool. Stir the cheeses and the egg yolk into the sauce and add some salt.

In turn smear the melted butter over half of the pastry leaves, crumple and place in the bottom of a buttered baking tray.

Pour the cheese sauce on top.

Smear all but two of the remaining pastry leaves with butter, crumple on top of the cheese sauce. Smear the last two pastry leaves with butter, place on top of the crumpled leaves.

Bake at 170ºC for 45 minutes.