Greek Galaktoboureko (Sweet Custard Pie)

Galaktoboureko is a traditional Greek sweet with crispy filo dough and a silky custard filling, topped with a clear sweet simple syrup. This can be made any time of the year and it will be just as satisfying. This yummy dessert is definitely one that is pretty sweet, so it would be great to have with some Greek coffee (coffee recipe in my last post).
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Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients for the syrup:
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp honey
Peel of 1 lemon

Ingredients for the filling:
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups semolina flour
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp butter

Baking dish
1 packet of filo dough

How to make the syrup:
1) In a small pot, add the water, sugar, honey and lemon peel and boil for 5 minutes. Let it cool completely.

How to make the filling:
1) In a pot, add to it the milk, heavy cream and semolina flour and heat under a medium-low temperature.
2) Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl.
3) Take some of the heated milk mixture and add some into the eggs, while whisking, to bring up the temperature of the eggs so it can be added back into the milk mixture without curdling. This method is called tempering.
4) Once the temperature of the eggs goes up a bit, add them back into the pot and whisk continuously until the mixture becomes thick.
5) When you start seeing the mixture thicken up, add the sugar and vanilla extract to it.
6) Once it thickens up nicely, take the filling off the heat and add to it the butter until it melts.

Assembly:
1) Melt some butter and grease a baking dish well.
2) Take the filo dough, sheet by sheet, and lay on the bottom of the baking dish creating about 5 layers and buttering well in between each layer.
3) Pour all of the custard on top on the filo dough and spread out evenly.
4) Repeat step 2 over the filling and butter the top well.
5) Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the filo is golden brown and crispy.
6) Once you take it out of the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes. After it cools a bit pour the syrup all of it and serve room temperature!

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* For a visual demo of this recipe visit this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dehj0yWhSc4 *

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Cannoli Sandwich Cookies!

Now you’re probably thinking, what do cannolis have to do with Greek food?
“Mia fatsa, mia ratsa” or “Una fatsa, una ratsa” are sayings that the Greeks and Italians have used with each country for many years. This quote means, “one face, one race”. Greek and Italians have many similarities with one another especially when it comes to the cultures and traditions.

Now you’re probably thinking, what do cannolis have to do with Greek food?
“Mia fatsa, mia ratsa” or “Una fatsa, una ratsa” are a saying that the Greeks and Italians have used with each country for many years. This quote means, “one face, one race”. Greek and Italians have many similarities with one another especially when it comes to the cultures and traditions.
A couple of weeks ago I was testing to make cannolis from scratch and my recipe didn’t go as planned. I rolled the cannolis out, the dough felt great and once I put them in the fryer they fell apart! Now I didn’t want to waste all of this beautiful dough, so since the cannoli shells were cut out in circles already I thought why not pop them into the oven and see what happens. They turned into amazing sandwich cookies, thin and crunchy!
So yes, I made up this recipe from another that had failed, but isn’t that how all amazing recipes come together??
Here is the recipe below for the cookies and filling!

– Ingredients for the shells –
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp shortening
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sweet red wine
2 eggs

– Ingredients for the filling –
4 cups ricotta cheese, strained well
2- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Mini chocolate chips

– Directions –
1. In a big mixing bowl combine the flour with the butter and shortening until in resembles crumbs. Make sure the butter and shortening are cold.
2. Add in the sugar, cinnamon and mix.
3. Next add in the eggs, vanilla and wine and combine until a dough forms. If the dough is a bit sticky add a little bit of flour.
4. Roll the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
5. You can cut these into whatever shapes you want, but I used a circle cookie cutter. Divide the dough and roll it out pretty thin about 1/4 of an inch. Bake in a 400° oven for 8-10 minutes or until the bottom begin to become golden brown.
6. Let the cookies cool completely.

For the Filling:
1. In a bowl combine the ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and mini chocolate chips.
2. Using a piping bag or just a spoon take 2 cookies, put the filling on one of them and then sandwich them.