Have you ever felt that you avoid food or desserts saying ‘I don’t like this!’ without though really knowing why.. That’s what was happening with me and galaktompoureko, one of the most loved Greek desserts. For some reason I didn’t like it, not sure why. Maybe due to an old childhood experience? Can’t tell. Being a person who enjoys savory tastes more I didn’t really care. Some years ago, a friend knowing that I like cooking, asked if I could make it for him. I remember how I loved the baking process but even then I never expected what would follow. I always try what I cook either I like it or not before I serve it to someone else. I cut the first piece. The crispy phyllo was spread all around. I took the piece with my fingers, out of instinct I guess. I stayed there speechless, holding the piece of galaktompoureko in my hands. Well, that’s an experience!
- 500gr. phyllo dough
For the cream
- 180gr. fine semolina
- 350gr. sugar
- 700ml. milk
- 300ml. heavy cream
- 4 eggs
- 3tbsp. cow butter
- 1tsp. vanilla powder
- grated skin of a lemon
- 250gr. melted cow butter to spread in the phyllo
For the sirup
- 700gr. sugar
- 400gr. water
- the skin of a lemon in pieces
- 1tbsp. lemon juice
In order to finalize the dessert you will need to have a cold sirup and a hot cake. For that reason start with the sirup first!
For the sirup
- Put all sirup ingredients in a pot. Boil for 4min. (count those 4min. from the time that the water starts boiling). Remove from the stove, take the lemon skin out and let the sirup get cold.
For the cream
- Put the milk, heavy cream, semolina, sugar, vanilla and lemon skin in a pot. Warm un in the stove in medium temperature, stirring quite often.
- Separate the yolks from the whites and place in two different bowls. Use your mixer to make a meringue with the whites. Using a fork mix well the yolks in the other bowl.
- Start adding the yolk mixture in the meringue and ‘fold’ softly so that you keep the air in there and have in the end a fluffy mixture of meringue and yolks.
- Pour the egg mixture in the pot where you have all the rest of the cream ingredients, little by little mixing really fast. You don’t want the eggs to be ‘cooked’!
- Add the butter stirring continuously until you get a thick cream. Remove from the stove and keep aside.
- Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C.
- Grease the bottom and sides of your baking pan well and place 5 phyllos after having them thoroughly buttered (don’t forget to put melted butter also on the edges of the phyllos, the ones hanging out of your pan).
- Pure the cream in the pan right above the 5 phyllos and turn the edges of the phyllos inside, to touch the cream.
- Lay the rest of the phyllos on top of the cream, greasing them one by one really well. Using your hands turn the edges of those top phyllos right under the base of your cake, to be placed on the bottom of the pan.
- Cut the galaktompoureko in pieces with a big sharp knife carefully. The goal is to let the cake ‘breath’ while cooking so just create simple cuts, don’t try to completely separate each piece form the other.
- Bake for an hour until it gets a golden color.
- When the cake is ready and while it is still hot, pure the sirup right on top of it using a spoon, covering all the surface. It will take some time until the sirup is completely absorbed from the cake so don’t worry if you see it laying on top of it for a while.
- Let it get room temperature before serving and..
- Don;t cover the dessert while waiting for it to get cold before serving. If you cover it the phyllo will get soft and we want it only crispy!
- for the first 1-2 days you can keep galaktompoureko outside fridge. Then reserve it in a closed boxed in your fridge. The sooner you eat it the crispier it will be!