Posts

Traditional Greek Custard Pie Galaktoboureko (Easy + Tips)

If you’re a custard lover, you’ll definitely love this traditional Greek dessert! Galaktoboureko is a creamy vanilla custard pie that’s encased in crispy phyllo dough and drenched in a delicious, flavored syrup. 

traditional greek custard pie galaktoboureko on a plate and in a pan on a white countertop with cinnamon sticks and dried roses

Galaktoboureko (pronounced ga-la-kto-BOU-re-ko) is one of the most popular of all Greek pastries! This dessert is not only popular in Greece! You will also find variations of it in Turkey and Syria, too!

What Galaktoboureko tastes like

It’s basically a velvety custard baked in layers and layers of buttery, crunchy phyllo dough and topped with syrup. The vanilla custard is similar to pastry cream and it’s not “eggy” at all. Despite the amount of aromatic syrup, I find it tastes lighter than most other traditional Greek desserts.

The recipe in this post is a slightly adapted one by Stelios Parliaros, a very famous Greek pastry chef. Stelios Parliaros is one of my favorite pastry chefs! He’s an absolute culinary genius! He has many different recipes for Galaktoboureko, but this one is my favorite! I’ve been making it for many years and it’s practically foolproof! It’s a family favorite and it has never let me down!

WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE STAND OUT FROM TRADITIONAL ONES

There are 3 main things that makes this recipe unique:

  1. There is NO semolina flour in it! Traditional Greek Galaktoboureko is made with semolina flour, which is a coarse flour made from durum wheat. To me, semolina flour makes the custard too grainy. So, for this recipe, I don’t use any semolina flour at all!  As a result, it’s a whole lot EASIER to make and the custard has a really smooth, creamy texture.
  2. This recipe uses vanilla bean powder instead of vanilla essence. You can still make a wonderful Galaktoboureko with vanilla essence, but I find that vanilla bean powder gives it a more intense vanilla flavor, which is amazing! If you want, you could scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean. I also love all those tiny black specks of vanilla. For me, vanilla bean powder is a lot more convenient and much easier to use, so it has become a staple in my kitchen! I use it for Vanilla no churn ice cream and vanilla sugar.
  3. This recipe WORKS! Even if you’ve never made Galaktoboureko before, you can easily follow my steps, picture tutorials and tips and still feel confident enough to make this amazing Greek dessert! It’s definitely worth the time and effort!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do you store Galaktoboureko?

It’s best served at room temperature, preferably on the same day it was made. If you want to keep it longer than that, you can refrigerate it for up to 4-5 days.

How long does it last in the refrigerator?

You can keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, but keep in mind that the phyllo won’t be as crunchy. 

How do you keep it crispy?

The best way is NOT to put it in the fridge at all! Refrigeration will soften the phyllo dough. So, if you like it crispy, I suggest eating it on the same day it’s made.

Can you reheat it ?

Although most people I know enjoy it at room temperature or straight out of the fridge, you could reheat it in the microwave a bit if you prefer.

Can it be frozen?

I’ve never tried freezing it before as I think it will get too soggy and fall apart. I never needed to freeze it, either, because it’s usually gone within 2 or 3 days!

What you’ll need to make Galaktoboureko:

Eggs & egg yolks

Butter 

Cornstarch

Sugar

Vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract

Milk & heavy cream

1 package phyllo dough

lemon juice

1 cinnamon stick 

TIPS FOR LAYERING THE PHYLLO DOUGH SHEETS & ASSEMBLING THE DESSERT

As with all desserts made with phyllo dough, you have to work fast because the phyllo will dry out quickly. Once you remove the sheets from the package, cover them with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out. 

Begin layering by putting a sheet of phyllo dough in the pan so that it fits nice and snug in a corner of the pan, while the remaining sheet extends and hangs over the other sides of the pan. After that, drizzle with butter so it won’t dry out. Continue layering this way, moving clockwise, so that by the time you add all the sheets, all the sides of the pan will have overlapping sheets of phyllo dough. 

When there are no more sheets left, you add the filling and even it out. Then you fold over the sheets, one at a time and buttering each one. 

The reason I layer the sheets this way is to ensure that the filling won’t ooze out while it’s baking. 

Also, don’t worry if the phyllo dough tears a bit as you’re layering, it won’t make any difference after it’s baked. Just make sure to butter the sheets well.

WHAT SIZE PAN TO USE

The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t really have to worry about pan sizes. This dessert can be made in just about any pan, square, rectangle or round! You could even use a lasagna dish! The only thing you need to remember is that the smaller your pan, the thicker the dessert will be.

For the pictures in this post, I used a 10 x 12 inch (25 X 30 cm) pan, so the pieces were quite thick – about 2.5 inches (6.3 cm)! If I were to use a bigger pan, the dessert would be much thinner, of course. So, it’s really a matter of preference. 

HOW TO MAKE GALAKTOBOUREKO 

how to make galaktoboureko 10 steps, traditional vanilla custard pie

 

TIPS FOR THE BEST GALAKTOBOUREKO

  • Use good quality butter and phyllo dough.
  • Don’t skimp on the butter. Phyllo dough should be very well-buttered, so you’ll need all the butter that’s listed!
  • The lemon juice in the syrup helps prevent crystals from forming. If crystals form in the syrup, they can make the syrup grainy, so lemon juice helps avoid that.
  • You will need to pour the cold syrup on the dessert as soon as it comes out of the oven. If you want, you could make the syrup a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • You shouldn’t overcook the filling since it will be in the oven for at least an hour. Take it off the heat as soon as it thickens.
  • As soon as the filling has thickened, take it off the heat and place some plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a crust from forming. Then let it cool slightly before pouring it in the prepared pan.
  • You will need to bake this dessert for 60-80 minutes. However, ovens vary. I suggest checking on it after an hour. It’s ready when the phyllo turns a nice golden brown color, as shown in the pictures.
  • I find it’s best to score the top before baking as it will allow the sheets to bake more evenly that way. It also makes it easier to cut into pieces when it’s done.
  • Don’t add the syrup all at once. Add a ladle at a time and wait awhile for the dessert to absorb it before adding more.
  • The amount of syrup for this dessert is what’s traditionally used and the sweetness is not overpowering. However, if you prefer less syrup, I suggest pouring a little syrup over the dessert. Then wait for it to be absorbed and taste it to see if you want more syrup or not.
  • After the syrup is added, let the Galaktoboureko sit for about an hour before serving. This will give it plenty of time to absorb the syrup and develop the flavors. Also, it won’t fall apart because it will have time to solidify a bit as it cools.
  • This dessert is best eaten the day it’s made. If you refrigerate it, the phyllo dough will soften and lose its crunchiness, but it’ll still taste great.

a close-up of a piece of galaktoboureko on a plate with a pan in the background

VARIATIONS

You can flavor the syrup for a richer or distinctive flavor. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add a shot of cognac or Grand Marnier.
  • Add a teaspoon of rosewater for a more exotic flavor, just make sure it’s food grade.
  • Add a lemon or orange peel for a nice, citrus overtone.

traditional greek custard pie galaktoboureko on a plate and in a pan on a white countertop with cinnamon sticks and dried roses

MORE GREEK RECIPES!

 

Let me know how this Galaktoboureko turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

~Voula 

 

Traditional Greek Custard Pie Galaktoboureko (Easy + Tips)

If you’re a custard lover, you’ll definitely love this traditional Greek dessert! Galaktoboureko is a creamy vanilla custard pie that’s encased in crispy phyllo dough and drenched in a delicious, flavored syrup. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: Greek, vanilla, custard, phyllo dough, galaktoboureko, syrup dessert
Servings: 8 large or 16 small pieces

Ingredients

For the syrup

  • 2 ½ cups (500 g) white sugar
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (300 ml) water
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the vanilla custard filling

  • 2 ¾ cups (700 ml) milk 
  • 1 ¼ cup (300 ml) heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon (160 g / 5.6 oz) sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (80 g / 2.8 oz) cornstarch

For assembling the pie

  • 1 package phyllo dough (about 12-14 sheets), thawed
  • 1 cup (250 g) butter, melted 

Instructions

Make the syrup

  • Put all the ingredients for the syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Boil for EXACTLY 4 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside.

Make the vanilla custard filling

  • In a small saucepan, heat the milk, cream, vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Whisk on medium heat to combine, but don't bring to a boil.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar, cornstarch, whole eggs and egg yolks. 
  • Pour some of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the cream and and whisk on medium heat until it thickens, about 2-4 minutes. When it thickens, take it off the heat and place some plastic wrap on the surface to prevent crusting.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F / 165°C.

Assemble the pie

  • Generously butter your pan.
  • Place a sheet of phyllo in the pan letting it hang over the other sides (left side and top).  Butter the sheet well.
  • Add another sheet and let it hang over the top and right side of the pan. Gently press it in the corners and sides. Butter it well.
  • Continue moving clockwise with the remaining sheets so that you end up with sheets overhanging on all sides of the pan. 
  • When there are no more sheets left, add the filling and even it out. 
  • Fold the sheets over the filling, one at a time, and butter each one well.
  • Score the top of the pie.
  • Bake for 60-80 minutes, until it's golden brown.
  • When done, remove from the oven and pour the cold syrup evenly over it. Don’t add the syrup all at once. Add a ladle at a time and wait a bit for the dessert to absorb it before adding more*.
  • Let the dessert sit for about an hour before serving. 
  • This dessert is best eaten the day it’s made. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days**.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

*The amount of syrup for this dessert is what’s traditionally used and the sweetness is not overpowering. However, if you prefer less syrup, I suggest pouring a little syrup over the dessert. Then wait for it to be absorbed and taste it to see if you want more syrup or not.
**When refrigerated, the phyllo dough will soften and lose its crunchiness, but it’ll still taste great.
© Pastry Wishes

Easy Blueberry Pie (With Lattice & Crimp Tutorial)

This homemade blueberry pie is loaded with juicy blueberries and baked inside a flaky, buttery crust! A delicious summer dessert that’ll wow your guests!

blueberry pie

Blueberry season is here! Take advantage of  it by making this amazing pie!  If fresh blueberries are unavailable, you can use frozen blueberries, instead! This recipe is simple and remarkably delicious!

What you’ll need to make Blueberry Pie.

Blueberries: Fresh or frozen.

Spices: I use cinnamon.

Lemon: I use some juice & zest.

Sugar: I use both white & brown sugar.

Butter: I use unsalted butter.

Flour: I use all-purpose flour.

Salt: I use a bit for the crust.

Cornstarch: I use some for the filling.

Egg & milk: I use these to make an egg wash to brush the pie before baking.

HOW TO MAKE BLUEBERRY PIE

The first thing to do is to make the filling. Then you make the pie crust.  I find it easier to use a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can make it by hand using a pastry blender. If you don’t have a pastry blender, you’ll need 2 knives or forks to cut the butter in the flour. This recipe is for 2 pie crusts (one for the bottom & one for the top).

After that, line your pie plate with the dough and crimp it.

How do you crimp a single pie crust?

Crimping the pie crust isn’t really necessary, but it really makes the pie look pretty. Here’s a photo tutorial on how to do it:

 

pie crimp

Then fill the pie crust with the filling and top it with a lattice crust.

How do you make a lattice pie crust?

For the photo tutorial, I used 4 strips, but you could use 5 or more, depending on how wide you make your strips.

Here’s how to make a lattice crust:

how to make a lattice crust

TOP TIP

  • If you tear any of the strips while making the lattice crust, just use a cookie cutter to make different shapes with the excess dough and place them on the pie. No one will ever know!
  • I like rolling out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper. That way I don’t have to flour my surface and it just makes cleanup a lot easier.
  • Making the pie crust may not be super quick, but it is SOOO worth it! Trust me, you won’t regret it! Nothing beats homemade pie crust!
  • Place the pie on a baking sheet in case it spills over while baking. I like using a pizza pan for this.

blueberry pie

VARIATIONS

This pie is also amazing with a cinnamon crust!

Just add 1/2 a tablespoon of ground cinnamon + 1/2 a teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cloves to the flour before making the pie crust.

blueberry pie

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • You need to give the pie some time to set before cutting it. I usually cut it the next day. However, if you don’t want to wait that long, wait at least 2-3 hours before serving, otherwise it will fall apart.
  • If the berries are too tart, add a little more sugar to the filling.
  • When using frozen berries, I like to thaw and drain them before making the filling. If you like a juicier pie, you can omit this step. Personally, I like perky pies, not runny ones!

Let me know how this Easy Blueberry pie turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 ~ Voula

Easy Blueberry Pie (With Lattice & Crimp Tutorial)

This homemade blueberry pie is loaded with juicy blueberries and baked inside a flaky, buttery crust! A delicious summer dessert that'll wow your guests!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: blueberry, homemade pie crust, pie, summer,
Servings: 1 9-inch pie

Ingredients

For the homemade pie crust

  • 2 ½ cups (315 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 tablespoons cold milk

For the filling

  • 4 ½ cups (615 g) blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

For the topping

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons light brown sugar

Instructions

Make the pie crust

  • Add the flour, salt and butter to a food processor. Pulse about 10-12 times, or until the butter is the size of peas.*
  • Add 3 tablespoons of the milk and pulse a few times until a dough forms, adding more milk if necessary. Do not overmix.
  • Divide the dough in two and wrap in plastic wrap. Gently flatten into 2 disks. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. I like putting the disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper to do this.
  • Put an inverted pie plate over the rolled out dough and cut about 2 inches (5 cm) around it.
  • Flip the pie plate over and fold any excess dough back to create a "wall".
  • Crimp the dough all around the pie plate by pressing your knuckle from one hand while pinching over it with your thumb and forefinger of your other hand.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 ° F / 190°C.

Make the filling

  • In a large bowl, gently toss the blueberries with the sugar, salt, cinnamon and cornstarch. Drain any excess liquid and add the filling to the bottom crust.

Make the lattice crust (see the photo tutorial in the post)

  • Roll out the remaining dough and cut it into even strips.
  • Top the filling with 4 strips, vertically.
  • Lift strip #1 and #3 and place another strip, horizontally. Cover the horizontal strip with vertical strip #1 and #3.
  • Repeat with vertical strips #2 and #4.
  • Cut off excess dough and fix the edges. Make different shapes out of the excess dough, if desired, and top the pie.

Make the egg wash

  • Add the milk to the beaten egg and brush the pie with it. Then sprinkle with the brown sugar.
  • Place the pie on a baking sheet or pizza pan and bake for about an hour. You'll know it's done when the filling bubbles.
  • Allow the pie to cool for at least 2 hours before serving.
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5-6 days.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

If you don't have a food processor to make the pie crust, you can use a pastry blender or 2 knives or forks to cut the butter into the flour and continue with the remaining steps.

 

 

 

NO-BAKE BANOFFEE PIE CUPS

This simple, impressive, no-bake dessert is a twist on an English classic. It’s elegantly luscious and creamy and made in less than 15 minutes!

no bake banoffee pie cups

If you love caramel and bananas and you’re a fan of quick and easy desserts, you will absolutely LOVE this recipe!  It will definitely be hard to resist, especially when topped with homemade whipped cream and chocolate!

What is Banoffee Pie?

Banoffee pie is a popular English dessert made with bananas, whipped cream, and toffee (or dulce de leche) and a buttery, cookie crust. It’s often topped with grated chocolate. The name “Banoffee” comes from the words banana and toffee!

What do you need to make No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups?

For this recipe, instead of making one whole pie, I wanted to make individual cups with 4 main layers – cookie crust, dulce de leche, bananas, and whipped cream.

In the past, I’ve made my own ducle de leche from a can of sweetened condensed milk, which is a bit time-consuming! This time, though, I was too lazy to make my own, so I just got some store-bought dulce de leche, instead, which saved me A LOT of time.

What I really love about this recipe is that you only need a handful of ingredients.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Cookie crust: I made my own using crushed Digestive cookies and butter. You could use graham cracker crumbs or finely crush your favorite cookies.

Dulce de leche: I used store-bought.

Bananas: I used 3.

Whipped cream: I made my own from heavy cream because it’s so much more flavorful than ready-made.

Some chocolate to garnish: I used some chocolate shavings. You could also use chocolate curls or you could just grate some chocolate. This, of course, is totally optional, but I think the shaved chocolate really makes it look pretty and the flavor blends so well with the other ingredients.

Why you’ll absolutely love this recipe.

  • It’s quick and easy.
  • It would be perfect for a dinner party or family get-together, especially if you serve it in pretty dessert cups or wine glasses.
  • It’s great for an upcoming summer cookout.
  • It’s soooo good!

no bake banoffee pie cups

How do you make No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups?

This recipe is really quick!

After making the cookie crumb mixture and whipped cream, the rest is easy! Here’s how to make it.

no bake banoffee pie cups

VARIATIONS

You can play around with different flavors if you want! Here are a few ideas:

  • Drizzle some melted chocolate over the crust or the bananas before adding the dulce de leche and whipped cream.
  • For a salted caramel flavor, add a pinch of salt to the dulce de leche.
  • Instead of chocolate on top, sprinkle with freshly ground coffee, cocoa powder, or even some chopped nuts. The ground coffee is amazing!

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Don’t use low-fat cream – it won’t create thick, stiff peaks. Use really cold heavy whipping cream.
  • I usually put an empty metal bowl in the freezer while preparing the other ingredients. When it comes time to whip the cream, the cold bowl will help it whip faster.
  • I highly suggest you make your own whipped cream! It’s so much better than the ready-made one! Homemade whipped cream holds its shape perfectly, unlike the prepared, store-bought whipped topping which has a tendency to melt!
  • If you can’t find dulce de leche, you can use caramel, instead.
  • Depending on what type of cookies you use, you may need to add a little bit more or less butter.

Looking for more no-bake desserts? Check these out!

Cheater’s Chocolate Mousse (+ Easy Chocolate Garnishes)

Easy Coconut Lush

Easy Vegan Chocolate Truffles 

Greek Halva Cake (Step-by-step Tutorial + Variations)

Rizogalo – Greek Rice Pudding (+ Vegan Option) 

Let me know how these No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 

No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups

This simple, impressive, no-bake dessert is a twist on an English classic. It’s elegantly luscious and creamy and made in less than 15 minutes!
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Keyword: no-bake, easy summer dessert, bananas, dulce de leche, banoffee
Servings: 6 - 8 (approximately)

Ingredients

  • 1 can (395 g / 13.4 oz) dulce de leche
  • 3-4 bananas
  • 1 cup (100 g / 3.5 oz) crushed Digestive biscuits or graham cracker crumbs (or your favorite cookies, finely crushed)
  • 50 g (1.7 oz or about 3 ½ tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup (200 ml / 7 fl oz) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (or more to taste)
  • 60 g / 2.2 oz chocolate shavings, for garnish

Instructions

  • Put an empty metal bowl in the freezer while preparing the other ingredients.
  • In another bowl, mix the dulce de leche with a whisk or a hand mixer for about a minute to make it creamy. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and melted butter together. It should look like wet sand. Set aside.
  • Take the metal bowl out of the freezer and pour the heavy whipping cream in it. With a hand mixer, whip the cream on low speed. Add the powdered sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. If you want a sweeter whipped cream, add more powdered sugar. Refrigerate the whipped cream until you’re ready to assemble the dessert.

To Assemble

  • Add 1½ - 2 tablespoons of the cookie crumb mixture to a serving glass or dessert cup. If you wish, even out the mixture with a smaller glass.
  • Peel and slice a banana. Add 3-4 slices on top of the crumb mixture.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of dulce de leche over the banana slices and then add a tablespoon of whipped cream.
  • Repeat the layers (cookie crumbs, banana slices, dulce de leche, and whipped cream).
  • Garnish with chocolate shavings.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. You can store it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Low-fat cream won’t form thick, stiff peaks.
If you can’t find dulce de leche, you can use caramel, instead.
Depending on what type of cookies you use, you may need to add a little bit more or less butter.
© Pastry Wishes