My Belated Galaktoboureko Recipe

Do you remember I made the rather wonderful Greek dessert to bring an even bigger smile to Jack’s already smiley face. Well, as promised, this is the recipe I followed. It is actually a Rick Stein recipe (no pressure Caramel!) and it was so much fun to make!

The concept – a set custard in filo pastry smothered with syrup – is extravagant and delicious – and Jack loved it!!!


For the custard pastry

  • 100g unsalted butter, melted
  • 3  eggs, separated
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 90g semolina
  • 1 litre pint full-fat milk, warmed
  • 7 sheets filo pastry

For the oranges in syrup

  • 3 oranges
  • 440g caster sugar (which is a lot of sugar)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C Fan/Gas 4. Lightly grease a 20cm springform cake tin.

Use an electric whisk to beat together the egg yolks, golden caster sugar and vanilla extract until you have a pale and creamy mix. Then gradually beat in the semolina and the warmed milk. Put this mixture into a clean pan and stir constantly over a low heat for up to ten minutes until thickened.

In a clean bowl, use the electric whisk to beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry peaks form when the whisk is removed. Loosen the semolina custard with a spoonful of the beaten egg whites, and then fold in the rest.

Brush each sheet of filo pastry with the melted butter. Then and lay six sheets, one at a time, in the springform tin, alternating the direction. (This will make sense when you do it!) The excess will drape over the sides (don’t trim it off).

Pour the custard mixture into the pastry-lined tin and fold the overhanging sheets over the top, tucking in the ends. Place the final sheet of filo, buttered and folded in half, on top. Tuck in the sides and butter the top.

Bake for fifty minutes until the custard mixture has set. Check after half an hour and cover with foil if the top is getting too brown.

To make the orange syrup, first zest the oranges. Then peel them and cut the fruit across into thin slices, removing excess pith.

Heat the caster sugar and 190ml water in a pan. When the sugar has dissolved, add the orange zest and lemon juice. Simmer for ten minutes until you have a thick syrup. (It took more like half an hour for my syrup to thicken!) Remove from the heat and add the orange slices. Leave to cool before putting into a serving jug or dish.

Allow the pie to cool to room temperature before releasing from the tin. Cut into slices using a serrated knife and serve with the oranges in syrup.