You have not had a Greek dessert until you have tried this milk-based sweet. Golden and melt in your mouth. Made with multiple layers of phyllo/filo and filled with a creamy custard topped with thickened sugar syrup and cinnamon. Semolina is also used which adds a grainy texture to the custard filling.
Pre-made phyllo/filo can be found in most supermarkets these days which simplifies this recipe however you can make your own. Ideally, this sweet is served once cooled down and It is difficult to stop at just 1 piece. Served with a coffee frape or a Greek coffee. Did you know “Gala” means milk in Greek?
Greek custard pie (Galaktoboureko recipe)Course: DessertCuisine: GreekDifficulty: Medium
- FOR THE SYRUP
4 cups of water
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups of sugar
2 tablespoons honey
½ lemon (whole piece)
1 shot brandy (liquor)
- CUSTARD FILLING
phyllo/filo sheets (24 pieces – store bought)
7 cups milk (room temperature)
2 cups of sugar
1 cup semolina (fine)
½ vanilla stick (split down the middle)
6 whole eggs (fresh)
250g unsalted butter (melted)
- Prepare sugar syrup, add 4 cups of water into a medium-size pot over medium heat.
- Add 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cups of sugar, 2 tablespoons honey and half a lemon (whole piece) stirring ingredients thoroughly.
- Keep stirring until sugar has dissolved and syrup reduces and thickens.
- Add 1 shot good quality brandy turning the heat off and setting syrup aside to cool down.
- In a large pot, add 7 cups of milk (room temperature), 2 cups of sugar and stirring ingredients thoroughly.
- Add 1 cup semolina (fine grain), stirring ingredients thoroughly and adding half a vanilla stick.
- The custard will begin to thicken at which time add 7 whole eggs stirring rapidly until custard thickens, setting aside.
- Unpack store-bought phyllo/filo.
- Apply melted butter to the baking tray (generous coating).
- Lay single filo sheet down and apply melted butter to face of phyllo/filo pastry and repeat process for 12 phyllo/filo sheets.
- Remove the vanilla stick from custard mixture (discarding).
- Add custard to phyllo/filo base, spreading evenly.
- Apply melted butter to face of phyllo/filo and apply buttered side down on-top of custard mixture applying melted butter to top side of phyllo/filo (only for the first piece).
- All other phyllo/filo sheets only need melted butter applied to the top side, repeating this process for the remaining phyllo/filo sheets (approximately 12 sheets).
- Wet top phyllo/filo pieces with water to soften for cutting.
- Using a sharp knife cut top layer all the way through (evenly square shapes).
- Bake at 160 Celsius for up to 60 minutes or until the top layer of phyllo/filo is golden brown.
- Slowly apply cooled sugar syrup, applying evenly and ensuring you utilise all of the syrup.
- Lightly sprinkle cinnamon over custard pie and allow to cool before serving.