Galaktoboureko is a dessert consisting of sheets of crispy buttered phyllo dough enveloping a thick layer of homemade semolina custard and drizzled with homemade lemon flower and nutmeg syrup. We learned this recipe from the lovely Gabriela, the granddaughter of a famous loukoumi maker from Geroskipou. Gabriela inherited her passion for sweets and shows her love through baking pastries and cakes for her friends and family.
Serves ~20 People
2 liters of milk (8.5 cups)
1/3 of lemon peel
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1.5 cups semolina flour
.5 cup of vegetable oil or butter for layering phyllo dough
500g phyllo dough > Good dough you can fold in like paper and then unfold without it ripping. It will also not stick to the other layers.
1 cup of sugar
1 large spoonful of honey
3 full nutmegs
1/3 lemon peel
5 drops of lemon juice (she forgot)
3/4 cup water
1 shot of citrus flower water
medium mixing bowl
deep 9 x 13 or 10 x12 inch glass baking dish (anything around that size will do)
> RECIPE >
1. Pour milk into a large saucepan, add the lemon rind, and vanilla and bring to a boil over medium heat. > The lemon peel takes smell of eggs away.
2. In another medium mixing bowl, add 5 eggs and 1 cup of sugar and beat the eggs
3. Once the eggs and sugar turn to a light yellow and fluffy homogenous mix, slowly add in the flour as you continue to beat.
4. Once the milk comes to a boil, turn down heat to medium and gradually stir in the egg-flour mixture. continue to stir with a wooden spoon as the picture thickens. Always stir in same direction start on medium heat and mix until the cream forms. Once the mixture begins to boil, shut off the heat and keep stirring until the custard fully forms. Then remove from heat and let cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove the lemon peel.
FORMING THE GALAKTOBOUREKO
5. Using a pastry brush, blanket the bottom of the glass baking dish with a thin layer of oil or butter. Add the first layer of phyllo, then cover with another thin layer of vegetable oil. > Most phyllo dough packages come in 12 x 18 inch sheets so you might have to cut a few pieces of phyllo dough and arrange them so that they fit the pan’s shape. The oil is being added so that the phyllo dough will stick to each other when baking and so that the final result of the dough will be crispy-flaky layers. Layer half of the sheets of phyllo dough into the pan, brushing each one with oil.
3. Pour the custard into the center and gently spread it out evenly. > The cooler the cream, the easier it is.
4. Add a layer of phyllo on top of the custard and repeat step one until you have run out of phyllo dough. > When adding these layers make sure to gently press down on the phyllo down smoothing any bumps, to ensure that the custard is evenly spread.
5. Using the pastry brush, tuck the dough in around the edges of the pan (very much like tucking in a bed sheet).
6. This step is the trickiest part so take your time and be gentle: Using a sharp knife cut the dough down the center of the Galaktoboureko long ways down. Next, make a cut down the center of each of the pieces so you now have three parallel lines. Now cut diagonally about two inches apart across the newly formed parallel lines. > Be careful and make sure you use you hands to keep the pastry dough together and in place. If you are not gentle, the custard will pour out from the sides.
7. Place the Galaktoboureko in the refrigerator for 1 to cool > The cooling is not necessary but will makes the consistency of the baked Galaktoboureko more compact.
BAKING THE GALAKTOBOUREKI
8. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175° C) for approx. 45 min or until the Galaktoboureko is crispy and golden. While the Galaktoboureko is baking make the syrup.
9. Add all ingredients into a small pot and place on stove over high heat
10. Mix constantly until boiled and turns light brown.
11. Pour the syrup over the Galaktoboureko, let it cool for about 15-20 minutes and then serve.
> By precutting the Galaktoboureko before baking, the syrup will saturate the layers of phyllo dough and custard providing the perfect amount of sweetness in every bite!