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Mpougatsa

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Ingredients:

6 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups fine semolina
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
grated rind of 1 lemon (optional)
1/2 cup melted butter
confectioners sugar
cinnamon
Fillo pastry sheets

Directions:

Beat the eggs in a bowl with the sugar until creamy. Mix in the semolina. Slowly add the milk while beating continuously. Pour the mixture into a medium sized pot and add the lemon rind (if you are using it) and the vanilla. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Be careful that the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. When it has thickened, remove the pot from the heat, set aside and cover with a lid so 'skin' doesn't form over it.

Take 4 fillo sheets and lay them out on a counter on top of each other. Cut the pastry into 4 quarters - cross wise so you have 16 equal rectangles (1).Brush each fillo rectangle with butter and put to one side.

Take one whole fillo sheet and lay it out. Brush it over with butter. Place 2 of the cut rectangles in the center of the bottom half of the sheet to form a base.(2) Spoon 2 or 3 tablespoons of the cream filling into the center of the base. Fold the fillo on the long sides of the base and the shorter end into the center, enclosing the cream filling, then carefully fold the rest of the fillo over and over into a neat package shape.(3, 4 & 5) Use butter, brushed on the pastry sides and ends as a' glue' to hold the fillo down. You can fold them as small or large as you like. Repeat this procedure to make more Mpougatses until the cream and fillo are used up.

Arrange the finished Mpougatses on a buttered cookie sheet, and brush them with more butter. Bake at 350F for about 35 minutes or until the pastry is flaky and golden. When done, remove them from the oven and sprinkle them with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

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