recipe

Galaktoboureko: the traditional Greek custard pie recipe

Total time: 110 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
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Ingredients
Sugar
560 g (2.8 cups)
Water
475 ml (2 cups)
Lemon juice
1 tbsp
semolina
70 g (0.35 cup)
Eggs
4
Milk
1 l (4.08 cups)
Lemon zest
vanilla sugar
20 g
Phyllo dough
450 g
ghee
200 g (0.88 cup)

Galaktoboureko (pronounced ga-lahk-toe-boo-reh-koh) is a traditional Greek custard pie made with phyllo dough and syrup. Because of the use of phyllo dough (as with many Greek desserts), it’s similar to baklava dessert.

This homemade Galaktoboureko is sweet and slightly scented, with a creamy custard. The phyllo adds just the right amount of crispiness.

Unlike baklava though, it’s a bit easier to make. Use store-bought phyllo dough – or make your own if you have time – and homemade custard, and bake until golden. Golden crispy perfection!

Guests will think you spent hours to make this layered dessert, but they will never know how easy it actually is! If you’re a fan of baklava, you’ll love this recipe.

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What is Galaktoboureko?

Galaktoboureko is a Greek custard pie or milk pie (although it’s also popular in Turkey or Syria ) made from a semolina custard baked in phyllo dough sheets. The syrup is usually flavored with citrus, either lemon or orange.

Galakto is the Greek word for “milk,” while “boureko” refers to foods stuffed in phyllo.

A similar dessert is called Bougatsa—but instead of being soaked with a syrup, the dessert is dusted with cinnamon and icing sugar.

Homemade Galaktoboureko Ingredients

Sugar – use castor sugar to make sure it dissolves well.

Eggs – use free range large eggs.

Milk – use full-fat milk for best results.

Lemon zest – you can use any citrus, orange will work great!

Vanilla – use store-bought or make your own.

Phyllo dough – use store-bought or make your own phyllo dough.

Ghee – you can also use vegetable oil or butter.

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How To Make Galaktoboureko

Phyllo pastry

Carefully separate the layers of the phyllo dough. Keep the layers that you aren’t working with under a damp towel to prevent them from drying out.

Custard

Place the semolina, sugar, eggs, milk, and lemon zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the vanillin and remove the rind.

Syrup

Dissolve the sugar in the water with a little lemon juice.

To assemble

Spread a little ghee in a large baking dish. Add a layer of phyllo dough, and spread with more ghee. Continue until all the layers of phyllo are used. Now pour in the custard cream. Cover with the overhanging phyllo layers and cut into slices. Drizzle with more ghee and bake at 340°F (175°C) for 75 minutes. Pour over the syrup and serve.

Tips for making Greek Custard Pie

If you can’t find semolina, you can also use flour.

Don’t add too much ghee in between the layers.

Make it vegan by using non-dairy milk for the custard, and vegan butter.

You can add cocoa powder to the custard to make a chocolate version.

How To Store Galaktoboureko

Galaktoboureko is best eaten the first 2 days after making it. Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.

Instructions

First, dissolve the sugar in the water with a little lemon juice. Set aside.

Add semolina, sugar, eggs, milk and lemon zest to another saucepan.

Bring to a boil, then add vanillin and remove the rind.

Add ghee to a large baking dish.

Add a layer of phyllo dough, and spread with more ghee.

Continue until all the layers of phyllo are used.

Pour the custard cream onto the phyllo layers.

Cover with the overhanging phyllo layers.

Place another layer of phyllo on top and brush with more ghee.

Cut into slices and drizzle with more ghee. Bake at 340°F (175°C) for 75 minutes.

Then pour in the syrup and serve.

Notes

The syrup needs to be cooled down completely before pouring it over the baked dessert.

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