Galaktoboureko (Greek Custard Pie) with Poached Oranges

, from Issue #77. March, 2018
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Galaktoboureko (Greek Custard Pie) with Poached Oranges

Creamy semolina custard encased in crunchy, buttery pastry, this is best eaten on the day of baking in order to take full advantage of the crispy filo. That being said, there will be no complaints if forkfuls are taken from the fridge the next day.

Serves: 8


1 litre milk
3 large eggs, size 7, separated
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
100 grams sugar
½ teaspoon salt
100 grams fine semolina
8 sheets fresh filo pastry
75 grams butter, melted
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
Poached oranges
¾ cup sugar
juice of 1 lemon
½ cup water
1 orange, peeled and sliced into rounds


Grease a 22cm loose-based cake tin and fully line with baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks, vanilla and sugar until combined. Pour mixture into a large saucepan and place over a low heat. Add semolina and stir slowly but continuously for 10–15 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside for 20 minutes to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Spoon a small amount of egg white into the semolina mixture to loosen it, before gently folding the remaining egg whites in until just combined.

Working sheet by sheet, brush the filo pastry with melted butter and place in the cake tin alternating directions until you have used 7 sheets and the excess is overhanging the edge of the tin
(do not trim this off.)

Spoon semolina custard mixture into the filo-lined tin and gently smooth the top with a spoon. Bring in the sides of the filo to create a rustic, crumpled top. Brush the final piece of filo with butter and gently scrunch it up before tucking it on to the top of the galaktoboureko. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the cake before placing it in the oven to bake for 40–50 minutes until the custard is set. Leave to cool in the tin until ready to serve.

Poached oranges: Place the sugar, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to ensure sugar is dissolved. Let the liquid boil for 5–10 minutes until it becomes slightly syrupy.

Lower heat, then add the oranges and cook for 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from the heat and set aside until you are ready to serve your galaktoboureko. Once ready to serve, return the oranges and syrup to heat until warm, then spoon over the entire galaktoboureko or over individual slices.. Serves 8 people.