Galaktompoureko (γαλακτομπούρεκο) – Greek sweet with filo and custard
Have you ever tried galaktompoureko (Γαλακτομπούρεκο)?
It is a delicious traditional Greek sweet that is perfect for cold days when we need a bit of comfort food and a recipe that tastes like home!
Here is what you will need:
1 ½ liter milk
6 full/generous tablespoons of fine semolina
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
250 grams of unsalted butter (60-70 grams will go into the custard and the rest for spreading on the filo)
Zest from 1 lemon
500 grams of pastry filo
1 kilo of sugar (1 ½ cup for the custard, the rest for the syrup)
Peels of 1 lemon
2 cups of water for the syrup
How to make the syrup:
We keep aside the 1 ½ cup of sugar that we will use for the custard later. We put in a casserole 2 cups of water with the remaining sugar. We also put in the lemon peels. We boil for 4-5 minutes and we set aside to cold. It is important to make the syrup first, so it is cold by the time we pour it on the baked sweet.
How to make the custard:
We beat the eggs very well. In a casserole, we put the milk, the sugar we have kept aside (1 ½ cup), the lemon zest, the semolina and the eggs and we boil, stirring continuously (otherwise it will stick and burn) till we have a thick custard (not extremely thick because it will also go into the oven and will lose some liquid there too). If, however, the custard seems rather loose, before we take out of the fire, we add a tiny bit of water mixed with a full tablespoon of corn flour. It does wonders. When the custard is boiled and ready, we take it out of the fire, and we add around 60-70 grams of butter and the vanilla extract. We mix well and we leave it aside.
How to prepare the filo:
We take a medium sized baking pan, a bit deep so it can fit the filo plus the custard. The size must be such that the filo leaves can cover the bottom and exceed a bit the sides of the pan so when we put the custard the cream doesn’t run out of the filo. We melt the remaining butter. With a brush we spread with butter the baking pan. Then we put half of the leaves of the filo in the pan, while spreading each one of them with butter each time.
Once we have put half of the filo in the pan, we pour the custard on it. Then we put the other half of the filo leaves, buttering each one of them every time we put it in the pan. If they exceed too much the size of the pan, we cut them at the size of the pan surface beforehand. We seal in on top the filo leaves that are exceeding the pan, and we butter them well. Once we have finished with the filo (and spreading butter all over it), we shape gently with a knife the pieces of the galaktompoureko that we will later cut. It is important to take care to carve gently and not very deep, so we don’t destroy the galaktompoureko.
We bake the galaktompoureko at 180 °C for around an hour or until the filo has a golden light brown color. We take it out of the oven and we pour on it the cold now syrup, while the galaktompoureko is still hot. We let it aside to get cold and then we enjoy our delicious sweet!