Yesterday it was our Wedding Anniversary (28 years!!!) and we had a little family celebration, so I prepared this for dessert.
Galatopita, which means milk pie, is a very simple, rustic, Greek traditional pudding cake which dates back to antiquity and was made with simple ingredients such as milk, eggs, flour, honey and cinnamon. The milk was from sheep or goats milk and from that milk they also made butter. Spices were imported from their trips to other countries. Its simplicity is what makes it so good.
Vanilla flavour is optional and was added much later on. Old measurements are with a drinking glass but don’t worry about measuring it with a glass. Use a normal glass you drink water in and use the same glass to measure all the other ingredients.
When I decided to make Galatopita, I had some leftover phyllo which I used as a base of this dessert, the same way I make Galaktoboureko but without a top layer. I did not add too much sugar in the recipe as I added syrup on top.
At the end you will find a more recent recipe without using phyllo or syrup.
Galatopita (with phyllo)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 40 – 45 minutes
Yields: about 20 pieces
- 8 phyllo sheets (optional)
- 100 grams butter (to brush the phyllo)
6 glasses whole milk
½ glass sugar
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 3/4 glasses fine semolina
5 extra large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the syrup:
- 1 glass sugar
- 1 ½ glasses water
- 5 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 lemon peel
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Butter a 25 X 30 cm baking pan. (If you want to add phyllo, start laying your phyllo sheets, each time buttering the sheets. Each time you add a phyllo place it in the opposite directions, so as to cover all the sides of the pan).
In a large pot, add milk, with 1/2 glass of sugar, semolina, lemon zest and vanilla essence and keep whisking on the heat, until the cream thickens.
Remove from the heat and set aside for a while to drop the temperature (about 5 minutes).
Size of a measuring glass
Quickly whisk in three of the eggs and keep whisking to incorporate them without curdling them.
Pour into prepared pan. Fold each phyllo, which is outside the tin on top of the cream, brushing with some butter.
Whisk the remaining two eggs with 2 heaped spoonfuls of sugar and pour over the cream. Make sure that the eggs cover the entire surface, using a brush .
Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until the top becomes golden-brown.
As soon as you put the pie in the oven prepare the syrup.
Add sugar, water, lemon peel, cloves and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil.Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat.When the pie is ready discard lemon peel, cinnamon and cloves and pour the syrup with a spoon, making sure that it will wet the entire surface. Add it gradually, allowing it to be absorbed and then add more.
You can serve it hot or cold, with some icing sugar and cinnamon on top.
Update: August, 2015
A great way to use leftover milk which is about to expire, is to make a pudding so this time I decided to make Galatopita with the excess milk.
This time I decided to make it the traditional way and did not use any phyllo or syrup but made a few tweaks of my own.
Galatopita (without phyllo)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 35 – 40 minutes
Yields: about 12 pieces
- 6 cup whole milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup fine semolina
- 5 tbsp corn flour (starch)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- Butter to grease the pan, sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle on it
- Icing sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle on top
- Whisk the eggs with half of the sugar with a hand mixer or a balloon whisk for 3 – 4 minutes.
- In a small pot, heat half of the milk with the remaining sugar, mixing so that it will dissolve.
- In a bigger pot add the remaining cold milk, the whisked eggs, the corn flour, the semolina the salt and lemon zest. Whisk until incorporated. Add the hot milk, whisking continuously. Put on the heat and continue mixing until the cream sets. Add the butter and lemon essence and mix until the butter is incorporated.
Preheat oven to 180o C.
- Grease a 25.5 Χ 17.5 cm pyrex with butter and sprinkle some crystal or brown sugar (about 1 tbsp) and some cinnamon.
- Add the cream and with a spatula make it even on top.
- Bake for approximately 35 – 45 minutes, or until the top starts to brown.
- Let the cream on a rack to cool so that the cream sets before cutting.
- Serve with icing sugar and cinnamon on top.
- Any leftover should be refrigerated.
I am submitting this recipe to the Sweet Pies Event I am hosting but as I also love baking, I am submitting this to my friend Ben, of What’s Cooking, for his event I love Baking.
You can find my Greek recipes in my cookbooks «More Than A Greek Salad», and«Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» both available on all Amazon stores. Read more here.
Other related Recipes:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,