I get recipe suggestions all of the time and have learned to keep an open mind, but I have to confess, the sound of this one left me dubious. It is a traditional Greek pastry, which was recommended by my husband’s aunt, Sheryl, and when I read the description, it seemed like it might be bland. The recipe consists of a custard made with semolina flour which is encased in phyllo dough, baked, and soaked with simple syrup. I couldn’t imagine the semolina custard wasn’t mealy and the phyllo all soggy. I should have known better because the source of the recommendation is the farthest thing from bland and mealy.
Aunt Sheryl is my husband’s aunt on his mother’s side and is the source of anything you’d like to know about the family for several generations back. Whenever she is here, she shares stories about Eric and his brother as kids, all of which are a delight. More importantly, she is the most fun person I know to belt out show tunes with and has encyclopedic knowledge of all things Barbara Streisand. I am of a certain age that Barbara will always have a place in my heart and Sheryl provides a safe space to go down the Stoney End (that’s a Babs reference, Millenials).
As for this new-to-me pastry, it is called, Galaktoboureko. Many Greek pastries are finished with a generous pour of simple syrup or honey so I’m not sure why it hadn’t occurred to me to try some with maple syrup. I made a Baklava, for instance and used maple to finish it which turned out well. But this pastry is really unique and becomes more addictive with each bite. The semolina is not mealy at all but gives a satisfying texture to the custard. The phyllo somehow stays crispy both on the bottom and top of the custard and was still crispy the next day when I had another helping.
I used Rum Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup to finish it but I’m quite certain that any of the barrel-aged or infused syrups would be excellent. Thanks, Aunt Sheryl. Next visit; you and me-The Way We Were, warm up your vocal cords.
- 3 cups milk
- ½ cup semolina flour
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- ½ cup white sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 package Phyllo dough
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- ¼ – ½ cup Runamok Rum Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup (Cinnamon+Vanilla, Jasmine Flower, or Cardamom Infused would also be delicious)
Preheat oven to 350
In a medium sized saucepan, bring milk to a boil then turn off heat. In a smaller bowl, whisk together semolina flour, cornstarch and sugar. Add semolina mixture to hot milk, return the heat and stir until thick. Remove from the stove and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine eggs, ¼ cup of sugar and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer or whisk vigorously until light and frothy. Add egg mixture to semolina and milk and blend.
Select the pans you would like to use. There will be enough ingredients for at least one 8” x 8” pan or several smaller dishes, should you choose individual portions. Start by brushing the bottom of the pan or pans with melted butter. Remove the phyllo dough from its packaging and cut it to fit the size of the pan. Place your first layer of phyllo and brush the top with melted butter. Repeat five more times. Pour the custard onto the layers of phyllo. If using several dishes, portion accordingly. Place another 7 layers of phyllo on top of the custard, making sure to brush each layer with butter.
Place in the oven and bake for 20 – 30 minutes. Smaller pans will cook faster.
Remove from the oven and pour some Rum Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup over the top of the pastry, letting it run down the sides. How much you pour will depend upon how sweet you want the pastry and the size of the pan. Start judiciously, you can always pour extra upon serving.