Friday, December 10, 2010

Laz Boregi - Phyllo sheets filled with custard

Here is another recipe from Eastern Black Sea Region of Turkey, and this time it is a dessert.. This dish is a specialty of Rize region, and simply a baklava like dessert filled with custard instead of nuts..

Laz Boregi has a very interesting (weird) name for those Turkish people who are not from the region, since the name 'borek' is usually used for different types of pastry dishes with variety of savory fillings, except Laz Boregi.. And Laz is, according to Wikipedia, the name of the "ethnic group native to the Black Sea coastal regions of Turkey and Georgia".. Then, the English translation for this dessert would be 'Borek of Laz People'...

I am also from one of the small towns around Rize, and one of Laz people, and grew up eating this dessert.. Although, it is very easy to prepare when you can buy phyllo sheets from the grocery store, traditional way of doing it involves preparing the dough and rolling thin sheets out of the dough.. This is why it is never an everyday food, but more a specialty prepared for festivals, bayrams, important events like weddings, or for special guests..

Try this sweet pastry and you will love it.. For those of you who are familiar with Portuguese Custard Pie, it has a very similar taste to it.. Actually that is why I like buying custard pie once in a while, it reminds me this dessert of my childhood.. Hazelnuts go really well with Laz Boregi, so please take my advice and put some ground hazelnuts on top while serving - to spoil your taste buds.. With hazelnuts, it is like eating a baklava with custard - I don't know if it sound kind of awkward but tastes delicious...

(for rectangular oven dish - 9'' to 13'' (22,5cm to 33cm))

1 pack of phyllo sheets (16 sheets)
90gr unsalted butter to brush the sheets

- Syrup -
1,5 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup + 2 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp lemon juice

- Custard -
1 lt 2% or whole fat milk
2 cups of granulated white sugar
140 gr ground rice or white flour
Pinch of salt
3 eggs


1 - At the very end of this preperation, you have to pour cold syrup over hot pastry.. That is why you should start the recipe by preparing the syrup.. Boil 1,5 cup sugar with 1 cup plus 2 tbsp water. When it starts boiling, add 1/2 tbsp lemon juice.. Continue boiling until it takes a thicker consistency.. (When cools down, it has to have honey consistency. Once cold, if it is more liquid than that, boil again for a bit more.)

2 - For the custard: mix 1 lt milk, 140 gr white flour (or rice flour) and 2 cups of sugar and start cooking over medium heat, and mix continuously.. When it tickens to a custard consistency, take it off the heat, and add 3 eggs one by one, mixing continuously after every egg. When you get a homogenous mixture, set the custard aside..

3 - Preheat the oven to 190 Celcius (374 Fahrenheit)..

4 - Melt the butter, and brush an oven safe rectangular dish (9'' to 13'') with melted butter..

5 - Place 8 of phyllo sheets one by one to the baking dish by brushing every sheet with butter.. Excess sheets will be hanging over the sides of the dish..

6 - Pour the custard, on top of the 8th sheet, and place the next 8 sheets on top by brushing every layer with butter..

7 - Brush the top of the last layer with butter.. Cut the overhanging edges with kitchen scissors or knife.. With a knife, mark last layer into squares delicately.. (Be careful for not to cut through to the custard level. This is only to make it easier to slice when the dessert is ready. If you cut all the way through, the custard will come out of the cuts while cooking.)

8 - Cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until the top gets the color in the photos posted..

9 - When you take the dish out of the oven, pour the syrup on top (pastry hot, syrup cold)..

10 - Wait 4-5 hours until dessert absorbs the syrup.. Cut into slices from already marked lines..

11 - Serve at room temperature.. I prefer serving with ground hazelnuts..



  1. What a beautiful dessert...I love baklava and other similar dishes. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    1. Thanks! Give it a try and let me know how you like it :)

  2. Hi Ferda,

    It's been a while since you've posted, but on the off chance you still check this, would you be interested in sharing one of these above photos with me (for credit, of course)? I'm an editor for a travel website, and we're looking to create a piece on Turkish food, and you have some good stuff here! Since this is just a comment box, let me know if you get this at Thank you, Ferda!