Galatopita is a delicious traditional Greek custard pie without a crust. It's creamy, low in sugar, and incredibly easy to make!
Galatopita (pronounced ga-la-TO-pita) is a very popular dessert in Greece. It’s similar to Galaktoboureko, but it’s lighter and much easier to make! It's basically a no crust egg custard pie. However, unlike most other Greek desserts, like my Baklava Triangles, Saragli, Portokalopita Greek Orange Phyllo Cake, and Greek Halva Cake , this dessert does not have any syrup at all, making it much lighter.
The History of Galatopita
Galatopita has its roots in ancient Greece. The famous ancient Greek author, Aristophanes, wrote about a dessert called Amis (pronounced A-mees) which he described as a mixture of milk, honey, semolina flour, and eggs!
Today, you'll find two main varieties of this Greek semolina dessert, mainly with or without a crust. Galatopita is found all throughout Greece and it isn't specific to a particular region.
This Galatopita recipe has been in my family for many generations! If you have never made a Greek dessert before, this one would be a great start because of its simplicity! This is probably one of the easiest Greek dessert recipes on the blog!
What makes this recipe stand out
- There's no need to temper the eggs. Many recipes for Galatopita include tempering eggs to make the custard. But, I'll show you a hack that my Yiayia taught me where you don't have to temper the eggs!
- It’s really simple to make. This is milk custard pie recipe is so easy, it's practically foolproof! I also include step-by-step instructions with pictures to show you every step of the way!
- It's low in sugar. This dessert is really light and perfect even as a snack. It's definitely much lighter than most Greek desserts.
- It's relatively cheap. You only need a handful of ingredients to make this Greek custard dessert.
- It's perfect for dinner parties. Galatopita is great after a meal because it's so light. You could also make this dessert a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve it.
What does Galatopita taste like?
Galatopita is a cross between a pudding, a custard and a pie. It's creamy and thick with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. It's low in sugar so it's not overly sweet. Vanilla and custard lovers would like this dessert!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
INGREDIENTS FOR GALATOPITA
Milk: I use whole milk for this recipe, because I think it gives a nice, richer flavor. I have made it with low-fat milk, too.
Eggs: I use medium-sized free-range eggs at room temperature.
Cornstarch: I use cornstarch to thicken the custard filling.
Vanilla: I use vanilla extract, but a teaspoon ground vanilla bean powder would also be amazing! I use it in my no-churn vanilla ice cream recipe.
Sugar: I use regular granulated sugar for the filling. I also dust it with some powdered sugar when I serve it!
Cinnamon: I use ground cinnamon for the topping.
Semolina flour: This pie has a traditional Greek semolina custard filling. I use fine semolina flour rather than coarse semolina. Semolina flour is commonly used in many Greek desserts.
Butter: I use unsalted butter which really adds a delicious flavor, but it also gives the custard a nice creamy texture.
ADD-INS & VARIATIONS
- You could add some orange or lemon zest to the filling if you want a citrus touch.
- Another variation would be to add a crust on the bottom before adding the filling. I'd use about 6-7 sheets of phyllo pastry dough, each drizzled with melted butter. Then you could add the filling over the dough and bake as directed.
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
First, prep your pan. Butter it generously with butter and then sprinkle some semolina flour all around. Tap the pan to remove any excess flour.
Now, it's time to make the filling. Place the milk, semolina, sugar, 3 eggs, cornstarch, and vanilla in a medium or large saucepan over medium-high heat and whisk continuously until it thickens, about 7-10 minutes.
There's absolutely no need to temper the eggs for this recipe (tempering means heating up raw eggs so that they won't curdle and turn into scrambled eggs when added to a hot liquid). All you need to do is put the eggs into the saucepan with everything else BEFORE you heat the mixture. That way they're ALL the same temperature. Always works like a charm every single time!
Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter.
Pour the custard filling into the prepared pan and even out the top with a spatula.
After that, make the topping.
Add the egg, cinnamon, sugar, and water to a small bowl. Whisk everything together to mix all the ingredients.
Then, brush the egg mixture all over the pie and bake. (I couldn't resist pinching a piece off the top part when it came out of the oven ?!)
EXPERT TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Dusting your buttered pan with some semolina flour and tapping out the excess helps make the pie sturdier and easier to cut when it sets. You don't have to do this (there were many times when I've forgotten to!), you could add the filling to a buttered pan only.
- If you notice the surface becoming darker as it's in the oven, just cover it with aluminum foil.
- As with most semolina custard recipes, you need to let the pie cool completely before cutting it as it needs time to set, about 2 hours. I usually put it in the refrigerator overnight.
For this recipe, I used a round glass pan that's about 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. You could use a square pan or a rectangle, too. If you use a larger pan, keep in mind that it will make a thinner pie and a smaller pan will make a thicker pie. You may also have to adjust the baking time as well.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I always insert a knife close to the middle and if it comes out clean, I know it's done. Also, while it bakes, you'll notice it puffs up and then deflates a little bit and the surface turns a nice dark golden brown.
This pie will last for about 5 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also wrap each individual slice with plastic wrap and then refrigerate.
I usually dust it with some powdered sugar and some cinnamon. If you want, you could drizzle some honey on top, too! Of course, as with all Greek desserts, it's great with a cup of Greek coffee!
MORE GREEK RECIPES!
Let me know how this Galatopita turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!
Galatopita Greek Milk Pie
- a 12 inch (30 cm) pan
- 6 cups (1.5 liters) whole milk
- ½ cup (100g / 3.5 oz) fine semolina flour + 2-3 tablespoons extra to dust the pan
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ cup (65g) cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons (30g) butter + extra to butter the pan
- 1 medium egg
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To Serve (Optional)
- powdered sugar
- ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 392°F / 200°C.
- Generously butter a pan and sprinkle some semolina flour all around. Tap the pan to remove any excess flour. Set aside.
Make the custard filling
- Place the milk, semolina flour, the sugar, 3 eggs, cornstarch, and vanilla in a medium or large saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and whisk continuously until it thickens, about 7-10 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter. Whisk until the butter melts.
- Pour the custard filling into the prepared pan and even out the top with a spatula.
Make the topping
- Add the egg, cinnamon, sugar, and water to a small bowl and whisk everything together until well-combined.
- Brush the egg mixture all over the pie. Pour the remaining mixture over the pie and even out the surface with the brush.
- Bake the pie for about 40-50 minutes, until golden brown. It will puff up and deflate a bit as it bakes. If you notice the surface becoming darker, cover with some aluminum foil. To test if it's done, insert a knife near the middle. If it comes out clean, it's ready.
- Allow it to cool completely before serving. Dust with some powdered sugar and cinnamon, if desired.
- Cover and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to about 5 days.