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Greek Galaktoboureko–Cream Milk Pie

“Galaktoboureko is a beloved traditional Greek dessert, although not as well-known as baklava among non-Greeks,” says Alekas Tsamis, executive chef of Greek Taverna in Montclair. “It’s essentially a cream custard, wrapped in phyllo and infused with an orange-flavored syrup.”

Posted January 6, 2010

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Serves: 8


• Sprinkle cinnamon on top before serving.
• May use any pastry sheet in place of the phyllo dough.
• Butter the pan before adding phyllo dough so it doesn’t stick.
• Keep the phyllo sheets covered with a damp towel while you’re working, so they don’t get dried out.


For the pie:
4 C milk
1/2 C sugar
3/4 C farina or fine semolina
1/4 C butter
1 t vanilla
2 t orange zest
5 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 package of Filo Dough
3/4 C butter, melted

For the syrup:
5 C sugar
5 C water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, cut in half


1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. In a large pot, heat the milk and sugar. When warm, add farina slowly, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens and is smooth.

3. Add ¼ C butter into mixture with wooden spoon and blend it. Turn off the heat, then stir in vanilla and orange zest.

4. Cool the mixture down and add the beaten eggs, continuously blending all ingredients.

5. Butter a 13x9x2 -inch baking dish. Place 6 sheets of phyllo dough in the pan, one at a time, brushing each generously with melted butter.

6. Pour the custard mixture in the pan, then top with 3 phyllo sheets, again brushing each with butter.

7. Use a sharp knife, score (cut till just penetrated) the top 3 layers of phyllo sheets to mark the portions. This makes it easier to cut after cooking, and allows the syrup to penetrate better.

8. Put the baking pan on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for for 45-60 minutes, until it becomes golden brown.

9. While the pie is baking, make the syrup. Add all syrup ingredients to a large pot, bring to a boil, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain. Discard solids. Let syrup cool to room temperature.

10. Remove pie from the oven. Immediately ladle the cooled syrup over the pan. It will saturate the phyllo and custard. Allow to cool completely, for at least 1 hour, before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Considered a true Greek dessert, most of the popular desserts such as baklava are derivations of Midle Eastern relations,Ghalatoboureko is among the king of desserts and commonly gifted when visiting a home for dinner or special occassion. All bakeries/patisseries in Greece serve this dessert and there is a mixed opinion on wheather this is served warm or cold. Pipng hot out of the oven is to die for, while most commonly Ghalatoboureko is served room temperature to maximize the texture and taste. Ghalatoboureko is a staple of Greek American Church Festivals and served at almost all NJ/PA/NY Greek Diners and definetly in the quick emerging Greek Restaurant secene. Most commonly refererd to as that Galatosomething or the other. Ghalatoboureko is baked in several forms, most commmoly in a pan, but modern bakers and chefs are now turning individual pillow shaped or cigar shaped versions. It is in deed a pleasure to read Ghalatoboureko featured in print, which traditionally has bee shied away from for it’s odd pronounciation.
Assad Khoury
Kuzina by Sofia
Cherry Hill, NJ

Posted by: Assad Khoury, Cherry Hill, NJ | Jan 07, 2010 17:48:54 PM |

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