Galatoboureko or semolina pie is my all time favourite greek dessert. I love custard based sweets and this one tops the list. Not too achingly sweet but smooth with that crunch of filo. I prefer a light sugar syrup without the addition of honey (I know, not at all typical) but It tastes so much lighter, making  this an almost refreshing end to any meal. I make sure that the filling is scented with lemon and is airy in texture. The filo is also light despite the buttered layers but the  delicate spiced syrup brings it all together nicely.

6 cups milk. I used 2% milk but whole milk is good as well.
150g fine semolina
100g sugar
Lemon zest, about half of a lemon.

6 eggs.
1 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs vanilla

Sugar syrup
240ml water
100g sugar
Cinnamon stick. About half a stick.
4-5 whole cloves.

250g melted butter.
1 packet of filo pastry. You can find this is any grocery store in the freezer section.IMG_6637

Pour the milk into a saucepan on a medium heat.
Add the sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
Using a whisk stir while slowly adding the semolina in a slow steady stream.
Add the lemon zest.
Make sure to keep stirring so the custard does not form lumps.
Stir until you see bubbles popping. Remove from heat and cover with parchment paper.

IMG_6642 (1)

In a medium bowl crack the eggs.
Stir in the cornstarch and vanilla.
Stir until you have a smooth paste.


Now this is where we temper the custard with the egg mixture.
Add a tablespoon of the custard into the egg mixture making sure to stir all the time.
Do this two more times and then slowly add the egg mixture back into the custard mixture. Remember to keep stirring all the while. You don’t want scrambled custard!
Put back on a low heat and allow to come back to just a boil. Set aside to cool.


In the meantime make the sugar syrup.
Into a small pot combine the water,sugar and spices. Bring to a simmer until you have a light syrupy consistency.. Set aside.


Take the filo out of the casing and lay out onto a dampened tea towel. Cover with another damp tea towel.
Brush the tin with a little of the melted butter and place one sheet of the filo onto it. Brush with the butter. Repeat this 4 times.
Pour the semolina mixture onto the prepared filo.
Do the same with the rest of the pastry. I used about 5 more sheets. Do not forget to butter each sheet as this will help to puff up the layers while cooking. With the last sheet tuck in and butter again.
With a sharp knife score the pastry, do not cut right to the bottom. You can score into squares or diamonds, whichever you prefer.



Place into a 350 oven until it browns to golden and the layers are all puffed up.
By now the sugar syrup should be cool.
Take the galatoboureko out of the oven and slowly pour the syrup over the pastry making sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies.
Allow to cool and then cut to serve.
Delicious! Kali oreksi



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