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Boo-ty-call or galax-to-boty or just plain or Galaktoboureko

My family in Greece won’t quite understand why we think some of the ways our friends or acquaintances try to pronounce this dessert is funny. But let me tell you, after countless friends have hatched the name to pieces, Galaktoboureko quickly rises to the top of their “yum!” list.

It’s a dessert that gets overlooked here in the US. Once it’s tasty goodness gets tried, it often becomes a fast favorite right up there with baklava.

What is it exactly? Gala – meaning milk – creates the custard base that is rolled into phyllo dough, baked and covered in a honey/syrup bath. It’s just delicious!

This recipe goes out to my nephew Peter, who loves Galaktoboureko!



6 eggs

6 cups of milk (room temperature or slightly warmed will speed the setting process)

1 cup sugar

1 cup farina or fine semolina

1Tbsp vanilla

½ stick (4Tbsp) of butter


2 sticks (16 Tbsp or ½ lb) melted butter

2 lbs phyllo


2 cups sugar

1 cup water

½ cup honey

Cinnamon stick

2 Tbsp lemon juice

Boil everything except honey until golden color - about 20 minutes. Add honey, simmer 10 minutes more. Allow to cool.

NOTE: You should always have cool syrup over hot phyllo. If you forget and you remove your phyllo, let your phyllo cool off, then re-warm your syrup before you pour it on.

To Begin

Make the syrup first, thus allowing it time to cool – and be ready for you when your custard/phyllo comes out of the oven.

Then, For Custard

In a saucepan on low heat, combine 1 cup of sugar and 6 eggs, whisk. Add the farina or semolina, whisk to incorporate. Add warm milk and keep whisking until mixture thickens. Add vanilla and butter, whisk until well incorporated.

Time to Assemble

Option 1:

Some people will take the mixture, lining the bottom of a 9x13 pan with layered phyllo & melted butter, and pour it on top. Then, layering more phyllo and butter.

Option 2:

My favorite way is to create individual pieces – like you see in the photo. Take a sheet of phyllo, brush with melted butter, fold in half. Take a spoonful of custard and place on the edge of the folded sheet, folding over the sides and roll it up like an egg roll. Place in a buttered pan. Continue making rolls until the pan is full.

Brush the top with butter, bake at 350 until golden brown. Once removed, pour the syrup over the cooked rolls and drizzle with honey.

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