Galaktoboureko – Greek Semolina Cake is a traditional Greek dessert which consists of a sweet semolina pudding baked in between layers of phyllo pastry and topped with a simple syrup.
So how did I find out about Galaktoboureko – Greek Semolina Cake? It’s all thanks to growing up in the borough of Queens in NYC.
Although the neighborhood of Astoria is today a diverse neighborhood with the largest immigrant groups being Pakistanis, Nepalis, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Bosnians and Serbs, when I was growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s, it was all Greek. In my early college years, I had a few Greek friends and where did they all live – Astoria! It was a great neighborhood to hang out in the summers in between our summer jobs. Astoria Park and lots of Greek cafe’s made it the perfect place to pass away hours at talking about nothing and everything – what college kids do best! I learned to appreciate the flavors of Greek cuisine from both restaurants and from my friend’s parents. Picnic baskets of spanakopita, pita, hummus, roasted potatoes and grilled lamb often came along with us to the park.
This dessert I have been making for as many years and I can’t remember where I first got the recipe, but I can guarantee it a hit for kids and adults alike. This was one of the recipes I taught at the culinary summer camp I worked at last summer and even the picky kids who were hesitant to try it, ended up loving it. The only kids who didn’t like it were the ones who refused outright to try it. What are you going to do? Force feeding teenagers is not part of my job description!
Due to my personal connection to Greek cuisine, I was excited to present this BM theme this week, but before I get to today’s recipe, why not check out some of the other Greek recipes I’ve already presented for you!
- Greek Herb Roasted Potatoes
- Greek Tomato Rice
- Pita Bread
- Greek Fruit Salad
- Greek Brined Swordfish
- Koularakia – Greek Butter Cookies
- Kourambiedes – Greek Almond Cookies
- Tabbouleh – Bulgur Wheat Salad
It has a diverse cuisine with one foot in Mediterranean Europe and one foot in the Middle East. Some dishes seem very similar to Italian or Spanish dishes, while other dishes more closely resemble the cuisine of Turkey or Lebanon. It’s a great fusion cuisine that should satisfy any palate.
IN THE MAKING – HOW TO MAKE GALAKTOBOUREKO
This chilled dessert is perfect for the summertime weather!
Galaktoboureko – Greek Semolina Cake
Have it with a shot of Ouzo, like the Greek!
Galaktoboureko – Greek Semolina Cake
- 6 cups milk
- 1 cup semolina
- 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12-14 phyllo sheets
- 2/3 cup melted butter
- Syrup Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons brandy or orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a bowl, combine semolina, cornstarch, 1 cup of the sugar and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat another 2 minutes, until thoroughly incorporated.
- While the eggs are beating, heat milk but do not let it boil. As soon as the milk starts to steam, add semolina combination. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened.
- Using a rubber spatula, slowly fold in the eggs a little at a time.
- In a 9x13 casserole dish, layer 6-7 slices of phyllo, brushing melted butter in between each layer.
- Pour the semolina pudding inside.
- On top, again layer 6-7 sheets of phyllos, brushing melted butter in between each layer. Make sure to brush melted butter on the top layer.
- With kitchen scissors, trim the edges of phyllo.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
- Meanwhile, combine syrup ingredients in a saucepan and simmer on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, until you have a thin syrup consistency.
- Pour syrup on top of galaktoboureko after you remove it from the oven, making sure to pour the syrup over the edges and in the corners.
- Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Serve chilled.