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80-90 min

20-30 pieces

This recipe uses:

Yaya’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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Yaya’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil


For the custard filling:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the phyllo layers:

  • 1/2 pound phyllo pastry sheets
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

About the dish:

Galaktoboureko is a traditional Greek dessert made with a creamy semolina custard filling, layered between crispy phyllo pastry sheets, and drenched in a sweet syrup. It is often enjoyed as a special treat during festive occasions or family gatherings.


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it reaches a gentle simmer. Remove from heat.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the semolina, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon zest until well combined.
  4. Gradually pour the hot milk into the semolina mixture, whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
  5. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and reaches a custard-like consistency. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  6. While the custard filling is cooling, prepare the phyllo layers. Brush a baking dish with melted butter.
  7. Carefully unroll the phyllo sheets and cover them with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out.
  8. Place one phyllo sheet in the baking dish and brush it with melted butter. Repeat this process, layering phyllo sheets and brushing each layer with butter until you have used about half of the phyllo sheets.
  9. Pour the cooled custard filling over the layered phyllo sheets, spreading it out evenly.
  10. Continue layering the remaining phyllo sheets on top of the custard, brushing each layer with melted butter.
  11. Using a sharp knife, score the top layer of phyllo into diamond or square shapes.
  12. Bake the Galaktoboureko in the preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until the phyllo turns golden brown and crispy.
  13. While the Galaktoboureko is baking, prepare the syrup. In a saucepan, combine the water, granulated sugar, cinnamon stick, and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick.
  14. Once the Galaktoboureko is done baking, remove it from the oven and immediately pour the warm syrup evenly over the hot pastry. Make sure to cover the entire surface.
  15. Allow the Galaktoboureko to cool completely before serving, to allow the flavors to meld together and the syrup to be absorbed.
  16. Cut the Galaktoboureko along the scored lines and serve at room temperature.
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