Vanilla & Semolina Custard Pies – bougatsa – μπουγάτσα


Golden and creamy perfection, delight your taste-buds by biting into these crisp filo pastries with warm custard filling.

Layers of filo encase a sweet Semolina custard baked inside a golden flaky exterior. Bougatsa, is best eaten warm straight out of the oven.

Each layer of filo is lightly sprayed with a light pure olive oil. Now don’t worry if you think using olive oil will interfere with the taste. It won’t. The light even spray of olive oil on the sheet will help to make the filo layers lighter and fluffier without the heavy and taste butter yields if you would have if you had brushed each sheet of filo with butter.

Reserve a pack of Semolina permanently into your pantry cupboard, as the custard on its own frequently can double as a delicious pudding.

Filo pastry is very delicate and dries out easily. Follow these tips for filo recipe success.

Handling / working with filo phyllo pastry.

Prepare the filling before you start. Filo pastry dries out and cracks very quickly when it comes in contact with air.

Ensure your surface is dry before resting the filo on the bench.

Cover the filo / phyllo with non-stick baking paper or a dry tea towel, then a damp tea towel. This prevents the filo from drying out.

Brush each layer of filo with butter or olive oil. This ensures a flaky result.


Prep 20 minutes Cooking Time 30 minutes


1 packet Filo Pastry – 12 sheets

3 cups milk

4 eggs

1/4 cup caster sugar ( 1/2 cup if you prefer your sweet on the sweeter side )

1/2 cup fine Semolina

1 tbspn corn flour

Flakes almonds to decorate

1 tspn caster sugar to sprinkle on top

1 vanilla pod

1 rectangular small cake tin

Olive oil spray

50g butter melted


Add 2 1/2 cups milk into saucepan and heat on low with half the sugar and Semolina. Stir continuously with a whisk.

It will start to thicken once the milk heats up. Turn the heat off and allow to cool down. Add the half cup of milk into custard. This will help to cool it down.

Beating the egg separately is important as we are aiming for a light and airy custard.

Beat the egg whites until they are white but not stiff. Add the yolk, cornflour and sugar and beat together.

Slowly add the milk into beaten egg mixture.

Return to very low heat, continue to stir for two minutes. The custard will thicken further.

Turn the heat off.

Warm Semolina Custard Pie

Butter your rectangular cake tin on the sides and base with a basting brush. Add a layer of filo. Let the filo hand off the sides.

Spray lightly with olive oil. Add filo – continue in this manner for six sheets.

Pour custard.

Now add filo for the top layer. Spray and repeat for six sheets of filo.

An optional step, is to sprinkle sparingly some flaked almonds in between each of the top layers of filo.

Fold over the overhanging filo, brush those layers with olive oil.

Spread butter on the top or exposed surface with a brush and sprinkle some sugar and flaked almonds.

Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees.

Allow to rest for five minutes.

Cut into pieces and optionally sprinkle with icing, and serve while still warm.

Scroll down to pin this recipe and to see other similar filo pastry recipes.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. foodinbooks says:

    Those look so delicious, and very nice for a summer dessert.

    1. Thank you 🤗🙂really glad you like it 💮🌼💕💮🌼💕

  2. Megala says:

    Wow, it looks gorgeous & scrumptious ! I’m sure it is so divine to taste the crispy golden filo encasing semolina custard.

  3. mistimaan says:

    Love to taste it

  4. KR says:

    I am little bit scared about filo pastry but in you post it seems very easy. I must try it 🙂 thank you for inspiration!

    1. It really is not tricky. Definitely worth a try.

  5. commememucho says:

    Look so delicious!!! 😋

    1. Thank you. It’s is a popular dessert this one.🙂

  6. I found it!! This dish looks delicate, light and fluffy and I can hear the crunch of that pastry with the lovely shaved almond pieces on top. Yummo Marina, you excelled yourself with this one!!

    1. Thank you Adrianne. Really pleased you liked it.🌼💕💮🌼💕💮🌼💕💮

  7. Alex says:

    This looks really good. I’öl have to try it soon 🙂

  8. All your recipes are so beautifully presented and then photographed- they look so clean and elegant and YUMMY-I want to try them all…just need to find the time!

  9. Ohhh these look awesome!! 😍😍

  10. I have been wanting to make this dessert and spent a significant amount of time googling around last month. Then tada, here is a lovely version!! The thought of this makes my mouth water (even though I don’t think I’ve ever had it in real life!!) Thanks for sharing!


    1. Mollie, let me know if you intend on making it. Happy to assist if required. I usually answer via Instagram quite quickly in the event you stumble onto some questions. I’m at Brisbane , Australia.

      1. Oh, I will be making it! But I’ll need to wait for an occasion, I think! Thank so much for the offer of help. I actually do need to get on Instagram!

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