Greek custard dessert recipe (Galaktoboureko)


Galaktoboureko is a Greek national treasure, a recipe that is known in every household and enjoyed by everyone.

Christina from Pieces of Greece shares with us her recipe for this traditional Greek dessert that is sure to please your guests.


  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar 
  • 3/4 cup water 
  • 3 lemon wheels 
  • 1 cinnamon quill 
  • 1 Tbsp rosewater or orange essence 
  • 1 Tbsp honey 


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cups caster sugar 
  • 3 tsp vanilla sugar 
  • 6 cups full cream milk 
  • 1 cup fine semolina 
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence 
  • Rind of 1/2 lemon 
  • Pinch salt 
  • 50g unsalted butter 
  • 1 375g pack Antoniou Fillo pastry
  • 100g unsalted butter 
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil 


  1. First make syrup. Put sugar, water, lemon and cinnamon in small pot. Bring to boil, stirring a few times. When it reaches a boil, simmer on low-medium heat, without stirring, for 6 minutes or until thickened and glossy. Stir through rosewater/ orange blossom essence and honey. Turn heat off. Allow syrup to cool. 
  2. Make custard. Using a mixer on medium speed, beat yolks, sugar & vanilla sugar until light and thickened, about 5 minutes. In a separate heavy bottomed pot, add milk, semolina, vanilla essence, zest & pinch salt. Whisk over medium heat until lukewarm. Add yolk/sugar mix, whisking vigorously & continuously until custard thickens. This may take up to 10 minutes. Do not stop whisking & ensure base of pot is whisked. Stir through butter. Turn heat off. Custard should be thickened & clump free. Cover surface with cling wrap & allow to cool until warm. 
  3. Preheat oven to 155 degrees Celsius fan forced
  4. Prepare Fillo according to packet instructions, bringing to room temp. Remove from plastic & lay out in front of you. Cover with damp towel. 
  5. Melt butter in bowl, then stir through oil. 
  6. Using pastry brush, brush 23cm x 35cm baking tray. 
  7. Pick up 2 sheets, lay on base of tray. Butter surface. Repeat step 6. 
  8. Repeat step 6 but this time allow edges to overhang one side of tray. Butter surface. Repeat on other side of tray. Butter surface. 
  9. Pour custard into tray. 
  10. Fold in overhanging edges and butter them. 
  11. Place 2 sheets in middle of tray. Butter surface. Repeat. Trim overhanging edges. Using spatula or brush, tuck them into the edge of the tray. 
  12. Cut remaining sheets to be 2 cm larger than surface area of tray. Place 2 sheets  neatly in the middle. Butter surface. Repeat.
  13. Using brush, tuck edges in & smooth surface. 
  14. Score Fillo.  
  15. Mist Fillo lightly with water (optional).
  16. Bake 40-50 mins or until golden and crispy. 
  17. Remove & stand 5 minutes. 
  18. Pour cooled syrup over hot galaktoboureko. 
  19. Stand at least 3 hrs before cutting & serving. 

Καλή ορεξη! 

READ MORE: Greek almond biscuit recipe (Amygdalota)




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