GALAKTOBOUREKO – GREEK CUSTARD PIE
BY SUE DONAHUE
A very fresh Greek custard pie made from semolina custard wrapped in phyllo and soaked in honey syrup. Maybe one of the best things you ever put in your mouth.
For the Custard
- 170 grams Fine organic Semolina
- 200 grams Granulated sugar, dived into two parts
- 500 grams heavy cream (35% fat or more)
- 500 grams whole milk
- 4 eggs
- 100 grams butter
- ½ vanilla bean
- 220 grams butter – melted for brushing onto phyllo
- 1 package phyllo dough
For the Syrup
- 700 grams white sugar
- 450 grams water
- 150 grams honey
- The rind of 1 meyer lemon, no pith
- 1 cinnamon stick
For the Syrup: Make the day before, and have ready and cold — this is important for the finish. Combine sugar, water, cinnamon, and lemon rind into a pot and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat as soon as mixture begins to boil. Stir in honey. Set aside to cool, and refrigerate for the next day.
For the Custard: Beat the eggs with 100 grams of sugar in a mixer for 4 minutes. Eggs should become a meringue like mixture. Remove from bowl and set aside. Combine cream, milk, vanilla bean split in half, and the remaining 100 grams of sugar. As soon as it begins to boil, remove the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Return the scrapings to the cream mixture. Bring back to a boil and add semolina. Use a whisk to stir the mixture as semolina is added slowly taking care not to allow clumping. The mixture is ready when streaks from the whisk are visible – 2-to-3 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in 100 grams of butter. Fold until melted and transfer to a mixing bowl. Beat semolina in mixer for 5 minutes until cool enough to add your meringue. With a spatula fold meringue into semolina until incorporated.
To Assemble: Preheat oven to 320ºF; convection oven is best. Prepare the 25 cm x 35 cm baking pan with phyllo by generously brushing with melted butter. One-at-a-time, place phyllo sheets in the baking pan. Drizzle melted butter between each sheet (do not brush). Repeat until there are six layers. Spread custard into the pan. One-at-a-time, place phyllo sheets on top of the custard layer. Drizzle melted butter between each sheet (do not brush). After placing the last sheet on top, with a sharp knife, score the top sheet into twelve roughly square pieces.
Bake in 320ºF oven for 1-1/2 hours, or until golden brown. Remove from oven when ready. Immediately pour cold syrup over the pie. It will sizzle and crackle. Best fresh, but stores for a week. Enjoy!