Divine Greek Galaktoboureko

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Greek cuisine has many delicious sweets, but a favourite one of mine is the famous galaktoboureko.

Fyllo pastry wrapped around fragrant cream, bathed in syrup. As Greece was occupied for many years and influenced by the east, our cultures mingled and galaktoboureko has become ours. You could say it is a traditional sweet.

I have an infallible recipe that I would like to share with you all.


So you will need a ready package of fyllo pastry. Choose the finest one called 'fyllo viritou' as it makes the sweet crispier. It can be frozen fyllo - I prefer the fresh fyllo you find in the fridge.  Also fine semolina, eggs, sugar, milk and butter. I measure with a cup used for tea or cappuccino, not a mug.


For the cream:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 litre of full fat milk
  • 1 cup of fine semolina
  • 1 cup of sugar( you can use less if you like)
  • 1 block of butter
  • Vanilla or orange rind is optional


For the syrup:

  • 3 and a half cups of sugar
  • 2 and a half cups of water
  • Half an orange
  • A cinnamon stick


We will start with the syrup. Throw all the ingredients in a pot and warm slowly as to not burn the sugar. Do not boil, just simmer for 5 mins with open lid. Remove the orange and cinnamon stick, then set it aside.


Keep two tablespoons of butter for the cream and melt the rest in a briki (small pot).


In another pot add semolina, eggs, milk, sugar and stir it continuously over heat until it becomes a cream. Turn off the heat and add the two tablespoons of butter. Stir again.


Turn your oven on to 180 degrees and grease a baking tin that can hold liquid.


On a clean and dry surface open the fyllo carefully. Using a brush if you have one, otherwise a soup spoon, you dribble the fyllo surface or brush it with butter. Then spoon a line of cream all the way along the width of the fyllo ( not length ways). Enough that you can wrap it and roll it to make a long snake. 


Repeat the buttering of the next fyllo without removing the rolled one. Then roll the first one again with the second fyllo so you have a long roll that you can lift carefully and place in the baking tin. You now have wrapped two fyllo with cream. Repeat this process until you finish your fyllo. Your wraps should be the same size. With a sharp knife cut the the galaktoboureko into bite sized pieces or larger if you prefer. Any remaining butter poor over the tin. Wet your clean hands and flick them on the pan. The idea is that a little splashed water makes the fyllo crispier. Bake for about  20 mins or more until well done. The pastry should become golden.


As soon as you remove from the oven pour the syrup over all the pieces in the tin. It makes a hissing and crackling  sound and the aromas are unbelievable. You may think that there is too much syrup but believe me it will be absorbed eventually!



                                                                                                     Photo - Aspasia Spinoula


I know all this sounds complicated, but once you have done it once, and of course tasted it, I am certain you will keep this recipe handy...






Text by Aspasia Spinoula for MyKerkyra.com

photo: newsbeast




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