Galaktoboureko (γαλακτομπούρεκο)






Can you believe I’m still tidying up after Easter Sunday? From all accounts, it was a pain in the ass but all was off-setted by the greattime my family and friends had for the whole day.

The day was capped off by my mom’s Galaktoboureko…uncracked from the cherished tome of her recipes.

Galaktoboureko is as popular (if not more) than a Greek baklava. Essentially, it’s a dessert of custard made from semolina flour and a crispy phyllo shell and soaked in a lemon syrup.

For those of you who might be having nightmares thinking I’m going to go through the whole phyllo-making process, relax! Commercial or store-bought phyllo is used here.

As long as you allow the phyllo to defrost properly in the fridge overnight, ensure it’s bought from a store that sells fresh phyllo (high turn over) and you’ve ensured the phyllo stays moist and you’ve brushed melted butter on each sheet…you’ll do just fine!

Galaktoboureko (γαλακτομπούρεκο)

7 eggs, room temp.
10 cups of whole milk (room temp.)

2 cups of sugar
1 cup of fine semolina flour

1 heaping Tbsp. of butter

zest of 1 lemon
1 package of commercial phyllo

2 sticks of melted butter (for brushing)

14″ X 11″ Corningware baking dish

Syrup
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water

juice & zest of 1/2 lemon

  1. Place a large pot over medium-high heat and add your eggs, sugar and semolina and mix constantly over medium heat until incorporated.
  2. Add the milk, zest and butter and now continue to mix using a potato masher until your custard is slightly thick, yet not runny. Place a tea towel between the pot of custard and the pot’s lid, cover and reserve (off the heat).
  3. Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Butter the baking dish. Count how many sheets you have in your package of phyllo and divide in half. One half will go on the bottom, the second half will go on top.
  4. In the bottom of the pan, layer your one half of phyllo, leaving the edges hanging over the sides of the pan. Brush each sheet generously with the melted butter. Pour the custard mixture over the bottom phyllo layers.
  5. Fold the excess phyllo over and into the pan and evenly distribute the remaining sheets of phyllo to entirely cover the custard. Again, ensure that each sheet is brushed generously with butter.
  6. With a very sharp knife, score the phyllo (just penetrating) to make your desired size and shapes of your Galaktoboureko pieces (this makes it easier to cut later and this will also allow the syrup to penetrate the pie better.
  7. Bake in the middle rack for 35-40 minutes or until the top is nice and golden-brown. Allow the Galaktoboureko to cool to room temperature.
  8. To make your syrup, add the sugar, water, juice and zest and bring to a boil and count 10 minutes for your syrup to develop (Galaktoboureko should be cool, syrup hot).
  9. Using a ladle, pour your syrup over the Galaktoboureko (1 ladle at a time) until your syrup has been absorbed.
  10. Carefully complete the slicing of your pieces (tracing your initial cuts), allow to cool for approx. 1 hour and refrigerate uncovered over night to set. Serve cold or room temperature.

© 2008 – 2015,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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79 Comments for “Galaktoboureko (γαλακτομπούρεκο)”

Anonymous

says:

Peter — I will pass this along to my sister. She makes an OUTSTANDING galaktobouriko and I’m sure that she’ll be impressed with this recipe.

Paul

Peter G

says:

Another Greek classic revisited! This is probably the most addictive of all Greek sweets. And you can’t beat the Corningware! I reckon every Greek mother has one!…LOL

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

says:

As soon as this photo came up on my screen, I said, “I don’t know what that is, but I have to have it!”

Sam Sotiropoulos

says:

Hey, is there any of this leftover? I’ll be happy to drop by and help with its consumption! :-) Looks wonderful!

Kevin

says:

These have been on my to try list for a while now. I ran out of phyllo dough before I got to them though. They sound really good and yours look amazing!! I will have to pick up some more phyllo dough soon.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Without the addition of the lemon syrup, this is very similar to our milk tart, but I can imagine that the phyllo and lemon zing takes this to another level – Greek heaven….

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Without the addition of the lemon syrup, this is very similar to our milk tart, but I can imagine that the phyllo and lemon zing takes this to another level – Greek heaven….

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Without the addition of the lemon syrup, this is very similar to our milk tart, but I can imagine that the phyllo and lemon zing takes this to another level – Greek heaven….

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Without the addition of the lemon syrup, this is very similar to our milk tart, but I can imagine that the phyllo and lemon zing takes this to another level – Greek heaven….

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Without the addition of the lemon syrup, this is very similar to our milk tart, but I can imagine that the phyllo and lemon zing takes this to another level – Greek heaven….

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Without the addition of the lemon syrup, this is very similar to our milk tart, but I can imagine that the phyllo and lemon zing takes this to another level – Greek heaven….

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Without the addition of the lemon syrup, this is very similar to our milk tart, but I can imagine that the phyllo and lemon zing takes this to another level – Greek heaven….

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Without the addition of the lemon syrup, this is very similar to our milk tart, but I can imagine that the phyllo and lemon zing takes this to another level – Greek heaven….

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

Without the addition of the lemon syrup, this is very similar to our milk tart, but I can imagine that the phyllo and lemon zing takes this to another level – Greek heaven….

Heather

says:

That Gklsneoalvldjw (like I’m really gonna try to pronounce that) kicks a lemon meringue pie’s ass right into the middle of next week. Looks lush.

glamah16

says:

Quit torturing me with all the delicious dishes form the feast. Makes me want to become Greek!

Proud Italian Cook

says:

That looks out of this world!! I might have to attempt to make this, since store bought phyllo is ok.

Mochachocolata Rita

says:

wow…i saw the one with spinach and feta filling…loved that… and this one looks like a heavenly ending to a meal.

hmm i wonder if i can replace the filling with chocolate or sweet cheese?

YUMMMMMMM it’s almost lunch time here (gurgle gurgle)

Randi

says:

OMG, Peter – mouth watering, body quivering… I want this. Right now. Also everything from the last 5 posts. I know its 1am on a weeknight, but I don’t care. Diets be damned!

canarygirl

says:

Peter! I should know better than to visit your page before lunch, but I just can’t help myself. This tart looks absolutely sublime..the interior looks so fluffy and light! Yum world.

Elly

says:

Mmm, yet another one of my favorite things. We should have stopped by your place after my family’s Easter for leftovers! :)

Pixie

says:

At first I thought it was a cheese dish, which made me happy but I’m even happier to know it’s a dessert and it doesn’t involve homemade pyhllo. ;)

Peter M

says:

Paul, this recipe could become your family’s new standard.

Judy, it’s a lighter dessert than baklava but they both rock!

Pete, our mom’s are all for kitchenware that limits washing & labour!

Lydia, I think the instructions are easy enough to try the recipe out.

Sam, it’s all gone…whatever wasn’t eaten made it into doggy bags.

Kevin, I have full confidence that you’ll pull off a fantastic Galaktoboureko.

Farida, you’re very welcome!

Nina…”paradisos” = heaven = galaktoboureko!

Heather, you kill me…it’s “gha-laak-to-boo-rreKO”!

Glam, don’t joke, Greece has many African immigrants proud to also consider themselves greek.

Cook Eat Fret…I think I just caused my 1st blogging orgasm! lol

Marie, if you know your way around phyllo, it’s a cinch!

Rita, why not the original and then experiment?

LOL @ Randi…was it also “toe-curling”?

Exharisto, Radiopoint…tha steilno email.

Jan, thanks and here…a virtual slab of galaktoboureko for brekkie.

Forkful, still no kitchen?

Maria, I have a Cretan surprise for you!

Nikki, sorry but I need to post more desserts.

Elly, if you’re ever in Toronto, you’re more than welcome, endaxi?

We Are Never Full

says:

looks rich… and yum! i’m with pixie though, at first I thought it was a savory dish. with cheese. which sounds awesome too, but this looks gorgeous.

you know jonny and i did christmas dinner this past year for 12 people. we had 5 courses and it was a MAJOR pain in the ass. but, like you, the happiness ofguests made it all worthwhile. i still have 7 months left to think about if we want to do it again, though!

giz

says:

This is a perfect example of my favourite types of recipes – rich looking, delicious looking and mean something from a cultural perspective. I love it. Does it freeze well?

familiabencomo

says:

Greetings, Peter! This is sooo up my alley – I have the lemons & I can buy the phyllo. Perfect. I love how you honored your mother by having her recipes bound. What a good son you are!

δεσποιναριον

says:

Ωραια! σου δινω μια sacher torte! Μου δινεις ενα κομματι γαλακτομπουρεκο?

Mary

says:

I’ve seen this dessert before, but I thought it might be horrible hard to make. Now I just have to wait for a big family gathering so I don’t run the risk of eating the whole pan by myself!
Thank you for posting such a delicious recipe!

Ruth Elkin

says:

There’s something very beautiful about this. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it just looks beautiful!

Ferdzy

says:

Phyllo AND custard? I’m sold! It sounds wonderful.

And, oh yeah, I can believe you are still cleaning up. Amazing how that goes.

Núria

says:

Chico, Thanks for the recipe instrcubtions… ai, ai, I’m outside Barcelona and outside of my mind too! Drinking the best wine ever: Montagne-Saint-Emilion… a French one… I’m reaching heaven :D

Great pictures Peter!!!! A free chair for breakfast tomorrow?

Peter M

says:

Pixie & Never Full…think creamy custard with a hint o’lemon and crunchy phyllo…that’s galaktoboureko!

Giz, it freezes terribly and in fact, down right soggy after a few days. Make enough for 1 serving.

Pat…throw in some of your cookies and we have a deal.

Bencomo, welcome and I’m glad you’re up for the challenge…it ain’t so hard is it?

Val, have you ever made this?

Mary, good idea…wait for a large gathering to make this and watch it vanish!

Ruth, it’s also delicious!

Lisa, it’s alighter dessert despite it’s size.

Ferdzy, despite the clean up these gatherings are worth it.

Nuria, on a mini-vacacion? Enjoy and have a glass for me.

Cris

says:

I like the name of this book… :-) Peter, I suppose this tastes like the famous Portuguese custard-filled pastry of Belem… it is heaven! Thanks for your sweet comments, and I apologize for my lack of visits, I usually check my reader (bloglines) when I have a busy week at work and just don’t come as often as I would like to commment.

Anonymous

says:

hi
I was doing some researches on internet and found your blo. I only have one thing to say:woooow.
I love cooking and greek food. by the way i,m moroccan and i was wondering if you have ever tried moroccan food.
yousra from montreal

Susan from Food Blogga

says:

That is just luscious, Peter (and that’s not a word I throw around lightly). It reminds me of out Italian Easter pies made with creamy ricotta and our custard pies.

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide

says:

I just want to crawl into that custard filling and lie naked for awhile……I am speechless.

Jen of A2eatwrite

says:

This is my all-time favorite dessert, and I had no idea how to make it. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!

RecipeGirl

says:

I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this. It looks amazing. Would it be a typical dessert to find in a good Greek restaurant? I don’t know if I can make it, but I’ll definitely be on the hunt for it!

Zen Chef

says:

wow. This looks so seriously awesome! Damn, it’s way too late to have this kind of craving! Impressive!

Peter M

says:

Jessy…catch!

Cris, I’ve eaten Belem (which are delicious) but this is not as dense and no caramelization.

Thank you Yousra and welcome! I have tried and enjoyed Morrocan food and you’ll see some dishes this summer.

Pam, exhale…it was only a virtual dessert.

Susan, I enjoy those Easter pies but the custard here is not as dense.

LOL @ obsessivefoodie…luv it!

Jen ,you’re very welcome!

Lori, many Greek restaurants will offer this and surely a Greek bakery.

Zen, never too late for dessert.

Andy

says:

That is mouth-watering. It looks like a big, thick bougatsa (my favorite pastry). I must try this.

Wendy

says:

This looks phenomenal! Much like what we call a custard slice but more flakey and just better. :)

Maryann

says:

Happy belated Easter to you and yours, Peter. All your food looks delicious as usual :)

Dave & Holly

says:

This looks delicious and quite similar to something we had in Greece years ago. It was a “street food” type of sweet that often would have it’s own little shops next to the Gyro shops. Our Greek friends (we were there for their wedding) I think called it something like “boo-GOT-sa” is that something you’ve made on here?

Peter M

says:

Andy, Dave & Holly, yes the custard is similar to Bougatsa and you will see my take on in the future.

Wendy, I dying to see your final wedding cake.

Carmen, TY!

Sher…you’re too kind…TY!

TY Maryann…where ya been?

Helene, ask for it next time you eat Greek.

cookinpanda

says:

I’ve been sitting on a package of phyllo dough and was searching around for recipes. This looks wonderful and so much more exciting than anything I’ve found. Can’t wait to try it.

White On Rice Couple

says:

OMG, I can’t pronounce this, but I can sure eat a ton of it! I just really connect with this dish, Peter!

Jen Yu

says:

Waugh!! My best friend from high school is Greek and her family used to stuff me with all sorts of delicious foods anytime I set foot in their house. This was one of my FAVORITES but I never knew what it was! I am so going to make this. Thank you for posting and for bringing back very happy memories.

cook eat FRET

says:

it’s cooling now but noo time to have it set up overnight i kinda overlooked that detail. i placed it in the fridge way too hot but i was desperate. i added some salt and some orange flower water to the lemon sauce. next time i’ll add salt to the custard – i didn’t see it in your recipe but i would put in about a teaspoon for that quantity.

bottom line is that i know it’s going to be awesome. i’ll cut into it in about 2hours. it’ll still be slightly warm. i hope it holds together. i think it will…

but the phyllo thing was not fun. i’m sure i can’t get very good phyllo here – or if i can it wasn’t the kind the sold at my local gourmet store – it was too dry, kept breaking. but i soldiered through. i know the quality of the phyllo matters and that it can’t dry out etc.

anyway – i was serious when i said this was so my thing. i can’t wait to taste it. thanks.

Sharlene

says:

This is yummy. Thanks for the tip on scoring the phyllo to make it easier to cut!

shadowed-1234

says:

Mr. P – i made this thursday night from your recipe. it came out fantastic – one of the best galaktoboureko recipes i have had outside a restaurant. thank you so much for sharing! ~sd

the-la-girl

says:

I just made the acquaintance of this amazing dessert in Greece last week. Wow! The filling was incredibly creamy, the phyllo dough crispy-crisp and it was oozing in syrup. Now, having done a bit of baking myself, I can’t get over the combination. Did they bake the phyllo first and inject the cream inside? How do you keep the phyllo crispy with such a moist filling inside? (not to mention the soggy sirup)

Is there a trick?

Another question: all the recipes I’ve seen on the internet contain semolina. The version we had in Greece may have contained it (he wouldn’t give us the recipe!), but somehow I doubt it. The filling really tasted like a very fine vanilla creme (Crème patissier). Anything with cream of wheat in it should be at least a tiny bit gritty, and in fact, other versions of Galaktoboureko I’ve had since, in Greece and in Germany, were not up to par. Have you heard of Galaktoboureko without semolina?

I’ll definitely try this recipe given all the good reviews, though. Thanks for posting!

Milena

says:

Oh my gosh – somebody finally called it out. I had the same experience – the store-bought bougatzas in Greece occasionally taste even more divine and they do not have an ounce of semolina – it is more like a pastry cream for a napoleon. I have scoured the web for a recipe and the closest I’ve found without the semolina are these two: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/14285/bougatsa+custard+parcels and http://www.cookingwithmarialoi.com/recipe/recipeview/trigona-panoramatos-triangle-shaped-phyllo-pastries-stuffed-with-custard-cream. I just tried the first one and it was close but not quite – the second one up next and it sounds a lot more like what one needs to achieve the result. Custard mixed with whipped cream injected after the fact!!

says:

Incredible the number of truly decandent gorgeous desserts you have made! As each photo scrolls by I jump and say “This is it! I want this!” and then I see another one! Oh, my, I have quite a lot of catching up to do – reading your blog and baking for mine!

Nini Girl

says:

You are the best!! I love it! I have always wanted to make this and all the little old ladies that I ask at my church keep saying “yea yea sure” and they never follow through. They do not want to share!! Thank you so much for filling all my food dreams. I love all your foods and come to your sight always to help me decide what I am going to cook for dinner/dessert. Cannot wait to try this one tomorrow.

Marina

says:

Hi Peter,

I made this about 5 hours ago, it’s sitting in the fride but got impatient and decided to cut a slice. The custard is about 70% cooled, but the custard is not as firm as i thought it would be. It’s kind of ouzing out once i sit in onto a plate :(
I hope with further cooling it will firm up more :) Because tomorrow night im taking it to a dinner party!

Fingers crossed!

Kate Sotiro

says:

My daughter needed to bring in a Greek dessert for her world history class, so she remembered this from Easter at a Greek friend’s (my husband’s family is Cypriot), and I found this recipe and made it today. It looks fabulous and I can’t wait to try it! My husband warned me about working with the phyllo, but it wasn’t that difficult at all. Thank you so much for posting this!!

says:

1 small but important thing thing was forgotten to mention…When adding your syrup whether it is galactobouriko or baklava…one or the other has to be warm and one has to be cold..you could either have your syrup ready and cold and add it slowly to the warm dessert or let your dessert get cold and add the warm syrup…otherwise you will make the dessert soggy…Chef Steve Psaroudis

says:

Steve, in my recipe instructions…the Galaktoboureko is cool and the syrup would be still hot when pouring over the Galaktoboureko. Thanks for underling this.