ATHENS Foods  was so kind as to send me a few of their products and I decided on this dessert as one of the many other recipes I will be preparing in the future using the fine product which is Athens Foods.

This custard pie is an absolute favorite Greek dessert. If you can get past the tongue twister name, Galaktoboureko (gah-lahk-toh-BOO-reh-koh) can easily become your favorite Greek pastry as well.

It’s a combination of creamy custard and flaky fillo dough that is baked to golden perfection then drenched with a lemon and orange infused syrup.

This dessert is best served the same day it is made.


For the filling:
6 cups milk
1-1/4 cup fine semolina
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. unsalted butter

For the syrup:

I used my version of the syrup for the Creative Cooking Crew Challenge using this month’s ingredient, honey.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange blossom honey
1 cup water
2 inch piece of lemon rind
2 inch piece of orange rind
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of small orange

For assembly:

1 lb. fillo pastry sheets
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, melted (for brushing)


Make the Filling:

In a large saucepan, heat the milk over medium high heat until just boiling. Add the semolina and stir with a whisk. Lower the heat to medium low. Using a whisk, beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Ladle a cup of the warmed milk into the egg mixture to temper and then add the egg yolk mixture to the pot.

Continue to cook over medium low heat until the cream starts to thicken, stirring continuously.

When the custard has thickened, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and the butter. Set aside.

Unwrap the fillo carefully remove the fillo roll from the plastic sleeve. Most packages come in 12 x 18 inch sheets when opened fully. Using a scissor or sharp knife, cut the sheets in half to make two stacks of 9×12 inch sheets. To prevent drying, cover one stack with a damp paper towel while working with the other.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Assemble the Galaktoboureko: Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom and sides of a 9 x 12 rectangular pan. You will use approximately half the fillo sheets for the bottom of the pastry. Begin by layering sheets one by one in the bottom of the pan, making sure to brush each one thoroughly with melted butter.

When you have almost layered half the sheets, drape two sheets of fillo so that they extend half in the pan and half out of the pan horizontally. Add the custard in an even layer on top of the sheets, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Fold the fillo sheet flaps in over the custard layer. Add the remaining sheets on top, brushing each sheet with melted butter.

Before baking, score the top layer of fillo (making sure not to puncture the filling layer) to enable easier cutting of pieces later. I place the pan in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes to harden the top layers and then use a serrated knife.

Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the fillo turns a deep golden color.



While the Galaktoboureko is baking, prepare the syrup: Combine the sugar, honey and water in a saucepan and add the lemon peel and orange peel. Boil over medium high heat for approximately 10 – 15 minutes. Remove the lemon and orange peel and stir in the lemon and orange juice. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Caution: Do not pour hot syrup over the hot custard. Allow both to cool to room temperature and then carefully ladle the syrup over the galaktoboureko and allow time for it to be absorbed.


καλή σας όρεξη
kalí sas órexi

Adapted from : AboutGreekfood / Lynn Athan

Some say Fillo others say Phyllo or Filo

This entry was posted in Desserts, Greek, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. You had me at Galaktoboureko, but only because I had absolutely NO idea what it was or how to pronounce it! And I do love a challenge. This dessert looks amazing and I wish we lived closer! because I don’t have the chops to try the entire recipe, but I will make the syrup for a cashew roll-up I’m baking for Christmas. Thanks Norma. 🙂

  2. flavorsofthesun says:

    This would be such a hit with my Macedonian husband. Beautiful.
    Wishing you warm wishes for a healthy, happy holiday.

  3. Joan Nova says:

    That ‘tongue twister’ is my favorite Greek dessert and your presentation rocks … as usual!

  4. soniayrich says:

    Looks amazing Norma. I love anything custard. Great plating!

  5. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    It looks wonderful and I love the simple yet elegant presentation, Norma.
    Happy Holidays!

  6. Tammy says:

    Mmmm Norma this looks incredible! 😀

    I would love, love, love to try a slice. Beautiful!

    Thank you for joining us this month for CCC.


  7. Pingback: 5 Holiday Recipes To Try with Honey - Living The Gourmet

  8. Norma, I love any dessert that has custard. I would love this, but I’m still not sure that I could pronounce it. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  9. Aida says:

    Coming in late on this one… I’ve been racking my brains trying to come up with a unique recipe for dinner guests next week. This is the one! Thanks Norma, looks like a lot of lusciousness! (I’m thinking of adding crushed orange slices & pistachio nuts as garnish with the sauce. Are those mint leaves in your picture?)

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