Galaktoboúreko, time for dessert!

Mar 2, 2012


          Some traditional desserts are so popular that there are pastry shops specializing in making only that special one; they often have long queues with customers waiting to buy their favorite. One of those desserts is galaktoboúreko.
          Galaktoboúreko is a traditional dessert made with phyllo pastry crust and filled with semolina custard. Butter and vanilla give to the cream its wonderful taste. 

          Galaktoboúreko was traditionally made at Easter. But it is so tasty that no one could wait until Easter to enjoy it, so now you can find it all year long. Every home cook and pastry shop has its own version of this dessert. Everyone uses different proportions of the same ingredients. The quality of the butter, orange or lemon zest, the thinness of the phyllo pastry, and  the baking time are a few of the  secrets leading to different unique results. It’s not difficult to make. All you’ll need is phyllo pastry from a Greek or Middle Eastern food store and friends to enjoy it.

Serves 8


300gr  phyllo pastry 

For the cream: 

80gr fine semolina flour (1/3 cup)
½ cup sugar
650gr milk
2 eggs
50gr butter
Vanilla and some lemon zest for flavor
Butter to brush the phyllo sheets

For the syrup:

300gr sugar
200gr water
1tsp lemon juice
1tsp glucose syrup

First make the syrup because it must be cool when finally used.
Put all the ingredients of the syrup into sauce pan and simmer for five min over medium heat. Set aside and let cool.

Meanwhile put milk, half of the sugar, semolina, vanilla and lemon zest in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When the cream starts to thicken slightly, remove from the fire, add the butter; and mix to incorporate. Set aside.

Beat the eggs with the remaining sugar and gradually add a few tablespoons of hot cream to the egg mixture stirring rapidly as you add it. This prevents curdling. Once that is done you can add it to the rest of the hot milk cream. Mix well to incorporate and set aside.

Brush with butter a 25cm round baking pan and set 5 phyllo sheets in the pan brushing with butter between each sheet.
Pour the cream over the lined phyllo sheets in the pan. Turn the edges of the phyllo over the cream and set 6-7 more phyllo sheets on top, always brushing with butter between the sheets. With a sharp knife draw lightly on the surface of the pastry the size of the final pieces and bake for 1 hour in a preheated oven at 180 C, until golden brown.

While the pastry is still hot from the oven, gently pour the syrup over the entire surface and let it cool for three hours before serving.

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