Galatoboureko (Greek Custard Pastry)


This classic Greek sweet features a creamy custard filling, with a touch of orange flavoring, sandwiched between buttery fillo layers, and drenched in a light cinnamon and honey syrup. Dessert doesn’t get any better than this.

Simply Delicious Greek Cooking: Episode 41: Galatoboureko

Ingredients

Custard Filling:

  • 8 cups milk
  • 1¼ cups farina or Cream of Wheat
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup (1 cube) melted sweet, unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Freshly grated peel of one orange

Pastry:

  • 1 pound fillo dough
  • 1½ cups (3 cubes) sweet, unsalted butter

Syrup:

  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • Orange peel slice (optional)

Directions

Custard Preparation:

  1. In large saucepan, heat milk; remove pan from heat.
  2. Gradually add Cream of Wheat, stirring constantly.
  3. Return saucepan to medium heat. Add sugar and butter; blend thoroughly. Continue to stir; do not allow mixture to burn.
  4. Cook about 10–15 minute until mixture thickens. Remove pan from heat and cool a bit.
  5. In separate bowl, beat eggs well. Slowly add the Cream of Wheat mixture to the beaten eggs, little by little (ladle by ladle).
  6. Pour and mix the egg mixture gently into the hot Cream of Wheat mixture and stir.
  7. Add vanilla and grated orange peel; blend well.
  8. Set custard aside. To keep “skin” from forming while cooling, stir custard occasionally or place a piece of plastic wrap directly on custard.

Syrup Preparation:

  1. In saucepan combine sugar and honey, water, cinnamon sticks, and orange peel (if using).
  2. Bring mixture to boil. Continue to boil until syrup is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Discard cinnamon stick and orange peel.

Galatobouriko Assembly:

  1. Butter bottom and sides of pan well.
  2. Layer ½ fillo sheets (approximately 10) for bottom.
  3. Do not cut bottom fillo sheets to pan size; keep sides up.
  4. Brush butter between each layer of fillo; brush sides.
  5. Pour in cooled custard filling.
  6. Leave room for folding over fillo to enclose filling.
    • Leftover filling may be baked as indicated in note above. Use some leftover melted butter in a small casserole and then pour some syrup over the baked and cut filling.
  7. Spread filling evenly.
  8. Fold fillo sides over to completely enclose filling.
  9. Cut remaining ½ fillo sheets to pan size.
  10. Continue layering fillo sheets, brushing butter between each layer.
  11. Trim excess fillo dough from sides and corners of pan.
  12. Cut through top 3-4 fillo layers only; do not cut all the way through.
  13. Bake at 350° for 50 – 60 minutes. Custard should be completely set and top layer of fillo should be light, golden brown.
  14. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  15. Pour syrup over warm Galatobouriko. Let Galatobouriko cool and absorb all of syrup before cutting all the way through, at least four hours or over night.
  16. Serve at room temperature or cold. Refrigerate leftovers.

Variation:

For an easy, simple, and quick variation, make the galatobouriko without the fillo. Prepare custard as above without incorporating the butter. Instead, pour the melted butter onto bottom of 13” x 9” baking pan. Spoon custard on top of the butter. Bake at 350° for 45 – 60 minutes until custard is completely set and knife inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes. Cut into pieces and pour syrup over warm galatobouriko. Let galatobouriko cool and absorb all of syrup before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.


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