Auntie Loulla’s Galaktopoureko is amazing! My fave Greek dessert of all, you must try this custard tart and pronto!
Loulla Astin is my mother’s sister and the award winning restaurateur of the famous Kosmos Greek Taverna in Manchester. Her career has seen her cook on TV many times, including presenting her own cookery series on SKY and she was even invited to meet The Queen at Buckingham Palace too.
Over to Lou…
Probably the most popular of all desserts in Greece, people of all ages can’t resist this custard pie, including me!
It takes its name from the Greek word for milk – ‘gala’ and ‘boureko’ which means stuffed pastry. It’s usually made into one large pie and portioned, or it’s sometimes made into individual rolls.
Makes 12-15 (depending how big the portions are )
For the pastry:
1 x 470 g long filo pastry (Au Blé d’Or)
100 g (4 oz) unsalted melted butter
For the syrup:
275 g (10 oz) sugar
275 ml (½ pint water 1-2 cinnamon sticks 4 whole cloves peel of ½ lemon and the juice 2 tbsp rosewater).
For the custard
1.2 litre (2 pints) of full fat milk
100 g (4 oz) fine semolina or coarse or mix 25 g (1 oz) corn flour, diluted with a little milk 100 g
(4 oz) caster sugar
A little mastic-gum (optional)
zest of 1 lemon or lime
Few drops vanilla extract
5 eggs, room temperature
25g (1oz) unsalted butter
Prepare the syrup in advance by placing the sugar, spices, lemon peel, lemon juice and the water in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil until the sugar has dissolved and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the syrup has slightly thickened.
Remove from the heat, add rosewater and allow the syrup to cool.
Make the Greek custard. Place the milk apart from 1/2 cup, in a large heavy saucepan on a low heat.
Put the eggs and sugar into a large bowl and whisk, adding the diluted corn flour, the 1/2 cup of milk, lemon zest, mastic-gum and vanilla extract.
Sprinkle the semolina into the warm milk, whisking all the time then whisk the egg and sugar mixture, whisking and stirring until the custard has thickened and is smooth (it shouldn’t be too thick). If it does become too thick, add more milk.
Remove from the heat, mix the butter and pour the custard into a dish. Add clingfilm or grease proof paper on to the top of the custard to stop skin forming when it cools.
You will need a 35 cm x 25 cm deep tray or a round tray.
Lay half the filo pastry into the tray, lining it, making sure the pastry overlaps the edge.
Pour the custard into the tray over the filo lining.
Brush each sheet of filo with melted butter and spread the sheets over it.
Tuck the top layers of pastry down the sides and score the top gently into the required portions, squares or diamonds or triangles.
Sprinkle the top lightly with cold water to prevent the filo pastry curling up during cooking. Bake in a preheated oven 180°c gas 4, for 45-50 minutes or longer and until golden.
Remove from the oven. Spoon the cooled syrup on top of the custard pie and allow to cool completely.