Galaktoboureko is a classic Greek dessert that is made with a creamy semolina custard that is wrapped in layers of buttery phyllo and drenched in aromatic syrup. Gala means milk in Greek and boureki is a pie. Make this Greek custard pie for your loved ones and serve it with some Greek coffee. So delicious!
Galaktoboureko: Perfect for a crowd
This is the perfect dessert to serve to a crowd because this recipe makes a 9 by 13-inch tray that can serve 12 large servings or many more smaller ones. The custard pie can be served warm or cold. It keeps fresh in the refrigerator for a few days. Need I say more?
Make a double batch of syrup to serve alongside the pie for those that like it extra syrupy. Leftover syrup can be stored in the refrigerator and used as a sweetener for cold drinks.
Which Phyllo is best for this pie?
The traditional #4 phyllo is best for making galaktoboureko. It’s not too thin and not too thick. This is the same phyllo that is used for baklava. The Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food stores carry several different kinds of phyllo. Look for the number 4. However, most supermarkets carry only one kind and even if it doesn’t say it on the packaging, my experience has been that it is usually the #4 phyllo.
Hope that helps! If it says country phyllo, it will be too thick for this dessert.
- Make the syrup first: When making syrup-based desserts, the syrup should be cool and the pastry hot. This keeps the phyllo crisp.
- Keep whisking the custard: do not step away from the saucepan while the custard is cooking or it will stick to the bottom and burn. There’s no saving burned custard.
- Do not overcook the custard: the custard will continue to thicken as it cools. As soon as the custard comes to a boil, it will be at the perfect consistency. Remove it from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. If it thickens too much, add some more milk to thin it to the correct consistency.
- Score the top of the pie into the desired amount of serving pieces before baking it: This will keep the phyllo from crumbling when it’s time to serve.
- Slice the pie all the way down to the bottom of each serving piece right before pouring the syrup over top: As soon as the pie comes out of the oven, slice all the way down to the bottom of each slice and then immediately pour the cooled syrup on top.
- Let the pie cool and set: this may be the hardest part. The pie will be irresistible but it needs time to set. An hour is best.
Serve this delicious Greek Custard Pie with Greek coffee.
I hope that you give this recipe a try and that you let me know what you think. Share the love and create beautiful memories and I’ll be back here soon with another recipe worth sharing! Kali Orexi & filakia polla xxDimitra
Watch the Video
- 1 pound phyllo dough, thawed and at room temperature (#4 is best)
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted
- 4 cups milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup fine semolina
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- zest of an orange or lemon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the syrup:
- 1 and 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup water
- a cinnamon stick
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.
Make the syrup: In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, and orange juice. Stir well and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour the honey into the syrup. Mix well until incorporated.
Set aside to cool completely. The syrup must be cold when poured over the hot pie so that way the phyllo stays nice and crisp.
Make the Custard: Beat the eggs, yolks, half of the sugar, salt, semolina, and corn starch until thick and pale yellow. About 3 minutes.
In the meantime warm up the milk in a saucepan with the remaining sugar until scalding hot.
Temper the egg mixture by adding some hot milk and whisking well.
Add the egg mixture to the milk in the saucepan and cook over low heat while continuously stirring until it thickens. Once it comes to a boil it will be at the correct thickness.
Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and about 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, and the orange zest. Mix well to incorporate and set aside.
Brush some butter all over the inside of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
Line the inside of the pan with a sheet of phyllo. Drizzle the top with the melted butter.
Layer all of the sides of the pan with sheets of phyllo (one sheet at a time) and drizzle butter over each sheet. Allow half of each sheet to hang outside of the pan (see the video)
Pour the custard filling in the center and fold the phyllo sheets hanging over the sides on top of the filling drizzling each stack with butter.
Place another stack of four sheets on top and tuck the excess phyllo into the sides of the pan. Drizzle with more butter. Do the same with the final remaining sheets of phyllo.
Scour the pie into 12 slices or more if you will be serving smaller pieces. Try not to cut all the way down to the bottom.
Pour all of the remaining butter on top and brush the sides of the phyllo as well.
Place the pie onto a baking sheet to make it easier and safer to transfer from the oven.
Bake for 45 - 60 minutes or until the pie is a deep golden color.
As soon as the pie comes out of the oven, slice over the scored marks all the way down to the bottom. Pour all of the syrup over the pie. Sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon on top and set aside for at least 30 minutes.Enjoy
The pie must rest a bit before cutting so that it has time to set. If it is cut and served right away all of the custard will ooze out and it will look like a big mess.
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