It’s true that Greek desserts are modest in terms of ingredients or technique. Give a Greek some eggs, flour, milk, sugar and let them surprise you with what they can make out of 4 ingredients! Galatopita is one of those humble, yet succulent desserts everybody loves. As its name suggests, galatopita is essentially a custard pie. While in the U.S, “pies” tend to have a firm, biscuit crust, this pie is more of a simple way to name a dessert made of phyllo and custard.
Those of you who follow me on social media may have noticed that post about my recent trip to Northern Greece and a galatopita in particular. But, the frenzy that occurred after this post – oh my goodness! Dozens of people asking for the recipe, which, to be honest, I was never the biggest fan, but after trying this one, I absolutely loved it.
Galatopita or galopita is made in various ways throughout Greece. In northern Greece, they make a semolina custard on rustic phyllo sheets or puff pastry sheet, so that the custard won’t stick on the pan when baked in the oven. OF COURSE, they make the phyllo from scratch, but I won’t bother you with too many ingredients and process unless you want to. In this case, let me know in the comments below. In other places, they make a simple custard with milk, flour, and eggs with no phyllo. It resembles a French flan, it’s creamy and more delicate. As for every Greek dish, it has myriads of variations. If you have a different tried and tested recipe for galatopita, let me know in the comments below!
This traditional recipe for galatopita is simple, elegant and loved by all home cooks in Veroia, as they told me. For my family, galatopita is a beloved dessert, especially after the Easter lamb craziness. It’s best enjoyed after a rich, greasy dinner with plenty of meat, e.g. Christmas, Easter, or even Thanksgiving. Without any further delay, I am giving you my recipe for galatopita!
Galatopita Recipe (Greek Milk Pie)
- 5 puff pastry sheets
For the filling:
- 1 liter / 4 cups whole milk keep one cup on the side to mix with flour
- 200 g. / 1⅔ cup all purpose flour
- 200 g. / 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs slightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the phyllo:
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp butter melted
For the gold crust:
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 egg beaten
Prepare the filling:
- In a small pot over medium heat, bring milk to a boil.
- Combine the leftover milk with flour.
- Add flour mixture to the pan with the hot milk and whisk until combined and thick.
- Add sugar and stir. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for two minutes.
- Add the eggs, whisking vigorously while adding them. Add vanilla extract and stir well. Allow the custard to rest and cool for ten minutes.
- Cover with cling film, making sure it attaches to the custard surface.
Prepare the phyllo:
- Preheat the oven to 180oC / 356oF / Gas Mark 4.
- In a small bowl, combine ground cinnamon with sugar.
- Roll out the first sheet of puff pastry and line a tart or round mold 28 cm. Brush with melted butter and sparkle with cinnamon mixture.
- Repeat the process with the rest puff pastry sheets.
- With a knife, cut the overhanging dough.
- Fill with milk custard and spread it evenly with a spatula on puff pastry.
- Brush custard with melted butter and the egg wash.
- Bake for approximately an hour, until custard is golden.
- Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the galatopita with icing sugar and serve in slices.