Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Recipe: Greek Galaktoboureko

Galaktoboureko is a very typical Greek desert. You can read more about it on Wikipedia but on a nutshell it's semolina and milk based desert topped with phyllo pastry baked and coated in a clear syrup. It's relatively easy but has some tricky bits. You can eat it warm straight out from the oven or cold (my choice usually). I also like Galatopita which is a version of it without the phyllo on top. 


For the Cream (filling)
1 litre milk
1 cup semolina
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cold butter

For the Phyllo Pastry
500 gr phyllo pastry
1 cup melted butter

For the Syrup
500gr sugar
300 ml water
Juice of 1 lemon
1 stick of cinnamon


Start by preparing the syrup
Put all your ingredients in a pan and place on the hob. Cook it for 12 to 15 minutes from the moment in starts boiling. Drain and set aside.

Prepare the custard/cream
Heat your milk over medium heat, be careful not to burn it. Add slowly the semolina and whisk all the time, you don't want the mixture to get sticky. Boil for about 5 minutes while mixing, you will get a thick mixture. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl (or in your stand alone mixer bowl) mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat until it's light coloured and fluffly. Add the semolina/milk to the mixture and keep beating until all is well beaten and the mixture is homogenised and thick. Now this is the funny part. Stick your butter to your fork and melt it all over your cream. The butter will create a protective thick barrier on top of the custard. Cover your bowl with cling film and let is rest.

Prepare the Phyllo
Spread your pan with a bit of melted butter. Place 3 layers of phyllo in it, spread each sheet with butter. Leave the borders of the phyllo outside the pan (as in a little gift). 
Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC. Mix well your cream with your whisk (you don't want any lumps in your mixture) and empty it in your pan with your phyllo. Make sure it's evened up in the pan. Cover the cream with the phyllo that you left outside the pan. Cut the rest of your phyllo sheets and spread with butter. Place on top of your cream. I would say to use about 3 sheets at the bottom and 3 on top more or less depending how crusty you want it. Make sure you spread each sheet with  melted butter. Also spread the top layer. 
Place in the oven for about an hour. When cooked, take out from the oven and coat it all with your cold syrup (while your pastry is still burning hot!).
Eat warm or cold. Enjoy!

recipe adapted from here

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