Turkish Milk Custard Dessert
(Laz Boregi - Black Sea Region)
~225 gr (half lb) Phyllo Pastry (11 sheets)
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
150 ml water
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 small piece of lemon peel
1/4 cup semolina (I used Turkish semolina)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup cream 35% (half&half)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 handful hazelnuts, blanched and ground
12 halved hazelnuts
3L (13x9x2") Pyrex casserole dish
To prepare the syrup: place the water, sugar and lemon peel in a medium sized pot. First bring to a boil. Then simmer for 5 minutes and turn the heat off. Add lemon juice and place the syrup in another bowl so that it cools down quickly. Then remove the lemon peel and discard.
To prepare custard:
Saute the semolina for few minutes, The colour of semolina shouldn't turn to brown or light brown! Then slowly add the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla extract in it while stirring constantly with egg beater. The mixture thickens naturally. Now add the salt and black pepper in it, stir. Let it cool down. Add the eggs, whisk. Stir time to time to prevent to be formed skin on the surface.
Place the Phyllo sheets on the counter. Cut the sheets in half. Now there are 22 sheets. After cutting in half, the size of the sheets should the same as the size of the Pyrex dish.
Brush the inside of the Pyrex dish with the butter. Then lay down 2 sheets. Spread more butter on top and then place two more sheets on top and butter again. Continue until you finish the first 14 of the phyllo sheets. Then spread the custard evenly with the spoon. Sprinkle the ground hazelnuts all over the top.
Then finish rest of the sheets (8 sheets) the same way. Don't forget to brush the very top with butter.
Dip a big, sharp knife into hot water to cut it in 12 rectangles. However, don't cut all the way down, cut only first 2 or 3 sheets. Do not reach the custard! This will ensure only the top parts will rise when you bake it.
Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Place the Pyrex dish on the middle rack. Bake for 25 minutes. At this point turn the heat down to 325 F (165 C) while the dish is still in the oven. Bake for 10 more minutes and take the casserole out. Immediately pour the lukewarm syrup all over it with the spoon.
Let the Turkish Milk Custard Dessert cool down completely then finish the cutting all the way down. Sprinkle some powdered sugar and some crushed hazelnuts. You can keep the leftover in the refrigerator.
12 portion of Turkish Milk Custard Dessert.
-Carrot Soup, Alined Eggplant Kebab, Almond Pilaf, Shepperd's Salad, Stuffed Eggplants in Olive Oil, Pleated Borek, Sesame Seed Chicken, Turkish Pastrami Borek, Mushroom on the Clay Tile, Halloumi Cheese and Turkish Milk Custard Dessert:)