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Galatopita: Greek Custard Pie (without syrup)

Galatopita is the Greek word for milk pie. Basically, it is a custard pie with a phyllo crust. Not your basic/ordinary custard pie. This one has caramelized nuts at the bottom so you get a bite of crisp, cinnamony goodness, velvety custard, and buttery phyllo in every bite. This dessert is incredible!


Galatopita is made in Northern Greece. This dessert is right up there in the Baklava and galaktoboureko category. Honestly, I used to think that galaktoboureko, a Greek custard phyllo pie that is drenched in syrup, was my favorite until I tried this! Don’t get me wrong, syrup-based desserts are amazing but, this custard pie takes the gold medal. The caramelized nuts take it to the next level of deliciousness!


Watch the Video Tutorial Here:

How can something with such simple ingredients taste this good?

  • semolina flour
  • sugar
  • walnuts
  • cinnamon
  • phyllo
  • butter
  • milk
  • eggs
  • vanilla

These are all pantry staples that I have on hand all the time. No doubt, this can get dangerous. lol! Something this delicious and easy to make can become addictive.

The nut layer is simply made with 3 ingredients: ground walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon. Of course, you can substitute any nuts and it will work. Something magical happens when they bake between the layers of buttery phyllo. They caramelize and become crisp. Combined with the creamy custard it’s like a bite of heaven. 

Can the custard pie be made ahead?

Yes! This pie tastes wonderful at room temperature and cold. So, making it a day ahead and chilling it in the refrigerator would be great if you want to prep ahead and save some time. If you’re serving this for a dinner party, either make it the day before or the morning of.  It needs some time to cool down and set so that the slices can hold their shape.  What’s there not to love about a delicious and elegant dessert that can also be made ahead?

What size pan should I make this in?

I used a 10-inch round deep-dish pie pan but it can be made in other pans as well. Here’s a list:

  • 9 or 10-inch springform pan, also known as a cheesecake pan
  • 10 -inch round by 2.5-3 inches deep pie pan
  • 9-10 inch round cake pan
  • 10-inch square baking pan
  • 9 by 12-inch baking pan

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How to properly thaw out phyllo:

Phyllo is very easy to work with as long as it is thawed out properly. It is commonly sold in the freezer (pie/tart) section of the supermarket. Mediterranean/Middle Eastern grocery stores will sell the freshest phyllo. Since it is sold frozen it must be thawed overnight (in its packaging) in the refrigerator. Then, place it at room temperature for at least an hour before working with it.

Take it out of it’s packaging right before you need it. The longer it’s exposed to air, the faster it will dry out. So, keep a dry kitchen towel and a damp one handy. Place the dry one on top of exposed phyllo layers and the damp one on top of that to keep them moist. You won’t have to do this if you have everything that you will need laid out and ready to use. Any leftover phyllo should be wrapped in plastic and placed back in the container. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use in another recipe.


Serve this elegant pie with some coffee or tea and share it with your loved ones. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you decide to make this. Did you make it for a special occasion? To treat your family? for a Tea Party?


Print Recipe

Galatopita: Greek Custard Pie (without syrup)

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dessert, sweet bread greek
By Dimitra Khan Serves: 8-10

Galatopita is the Greek word for milk pie. Basically, it is a custard pie with a phyllo crust. Not your basic/ordinary custard pie. This one has caramelized nuts at the bottom so you get a bite of crisp, cinnamony goodness, velvety custard, and buttery phyllo in every bite. This dessert is incredible!


  • 6-8 (#4) phyllo sheets, thawed and at room temperature.
  • 4 ounces (113g) unsalted butter, melted
  • For the nut mixture:
  • • 1 cup ground walnuts
  • • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • For the custard:
  • • 4 cups whole milk
  • • ½ cup (95g) fine semolina
  • • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • • 2 whole eggs
  • • 1 egg yolk
  • • 1 cup (240g) granulated sugar
  • • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • • 2 tablespoons butter
  • • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the topping:
  • • 1 whole egg
  • • 1 tablespoon water
  • • ¼ cup granulated sugar



Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.


Make the custard:


Pour the milk and half of the granulated sugar into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until scorching hot.


In the meantime, combine the eggs, yolk, cornstarch, salt, remaining sugar, and the semolina flour in a large bowl. Whisk together until combined and pale.


Pour some of the hot milk into the egg mixture and whisk together.


Add the mixture to the pan and continue to whisk while cooking over medium heat until thickened. As soon as it comes to a boil, it will be at the correct consistency. Immediately remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla extract. Whisk together until smooth and set aside.


Combine the nut mixture ingredients together in a small bowl and mix.


Assemble the pie: Brush some melted butter on the bottom and sides of a 10-inch round deep-dish pie pan.


Place one sheet of phyllo inside of the pan at the 3:00 position. Drizzle some butter over the phyllo and add a heaping tablespoon of the nut filling on top.


Continue layering the phyllo sheets with nuts in between each layer. The top layer should not have any nuts on top.


Pour the custard onto the top layer and brush the phyllo that is hanging outside of the pan with melted butter.


Gather the phyllo and roll it to create a rustic crust. Brush the crust with the remaining butter.


Beat the topping ingredients (egg, water, and sugar) together until smooth and pour it over the top of the custard.


Bake the pie on the center rack of the oven for 50 minutes or until the custard has set (it will still jiggle) and it is golden on top.


Allow the pie to cool down at room temperature for about an hour so that the slices hold together when served.


Serve with tea or coffee and enjoy it with good company.


The pie can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. It tastes delicious at room temperature or chilled.



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