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GREEK GALATOBOUREKO (CUSTARD BAKLAVA)
On a recent visit to Boston, my great Greek friend, Olga, introduced me to the pleasures of galatoboureko, a custard cousin to the better known baklava.
While it has taken me at least a month to perfect my pronunciation of the dessert, it took me less than an instant to know that I adored the taste.
This is Olga's recipe.
Makes about 48 Diamonds
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For the Sugar Syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 slice orange
For the Custard:
2 quarts milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup farina or Cream of Wheat cereal
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
12 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Phyllo Pastry:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 pound phyllo dough, thawed
||Prepare the syrup: Place all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan and boil 10 minutes, skimming off any froth that rises to the surface.
Remove and discard the orange slice. Set aside to cool.|
||Prepare the custard: Scald the milk with the sugar in a deep saucepan over medium-low heat,
stirring with a wooden spoon. Gradually stir in the farina. Add the butter and salt.
Continue cooking and stirring until the butter has melted and the mixture is thick and smooth.
Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.|
||Beat the eggs and vanilla together in a large bowl until light, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cooled farina mixture and blend thoroughly. |
||Preheat the oven to 350°F.|
||To assemble, brush a 17 × 11-inch baking pan with a thin coating of the melted butter.
Unwrap the phyllo dough, lay it out flat on a clean surface, and cover it with a slightly damp kitchen
towel to keep it from drying out. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough on the bottom of the pan and brush it with a
thin coating of melted butter. Continue layering and buttering the dough in the same manner for 8 sheets.|
||Pour in all the custard and spread it evenly. Cover the custard with 8 more layers of buttered phyllo dough.
Puncture the top sheets with a sharp knife in several places to allow the custard to breathe during baking.|
||Bake until the custard is set and the pastry shakes loose from the pan, 45 minutes to 1 hour.|
||Let cool 30 minutes, then pour the sugar syrup over the pastry. Let cool completely.
Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature, cut into small diamonds with a sharp knife.|
Excerpted from COLD-WEATHER COOKING copyright © 1990 Sarah Leah Chase.
Reprinted with the permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.