Best Greek Desserts: Galaktoboureko

Best Greek Desserts: Galaktoboureko


Best Greek Desserts: Galaktoboureko is what we are making this week. Greek Easter means a lot of cooking…I mean a lot! I traditionally make Galaktoboureko every Easter and this year is no different. Galaktoboureko is a Greek dessert most commonly made in a rectangular pan or individual-sized rolls. It consists of many layers of phyllo, butter, and delicious creamy custard.

I always like a modern take on a classic so this recipe Martha Stewart recipe (from 20 years ago) for individual Galaktoboureko is my go-to! Since you have to work quickly when working with phyllo, it is a great recipe to make with family and friends. Luckily, I have my favorite baker helping me for the last 4 years, my daughter Lilliana.


Best Greek Desserts: Galaktoboureko – Chrisa’s Tips

    • Don’t forget to remove the phyllo from the freezer and let it defrost overnight in the refrigerator or for at least 3 hours at room temperature. This is very important since the phyllo is very delicate and will tear easily if not defrosted properly.
    • Don’t forget to remove 1 stick of unsalted butter from the refrigerator since you will need this to be room temperature.
    • Make the custard a day in advance since it needs to cool before you can assemble the individual purses. For some reason when I do this, it feels like much less of a time commitment.
    • I add 2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract instead of just 1 teaspoon
    • You can also add lemon or orange zest
    • Instead of a baking sheet, try baking the purses in a buttered muffin tray, it helps keep their shape.
    • Add a loose sheet of foil to loosely cover the purse for the last half of baking time to avoid burning the phyllo tips.
    • Don’t add syrup (last step) to any you may not serve at a later date. It helps them from getting too soggy too fast.


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, scald milk and unsalted butter over medium-high heat, 5 to 6 minutes. Slowly whisk in Cream of Wheat. Lower heat to medium, and cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly add eggs; continue to cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture begins to thicken, 7 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar and vanilla; stir, and cook 10 to 12 minutes, until the custard has a porridgelike consistency. Let cool.

  • Carefully unroll phyllo. Immediately cover it with plastic wrap and then a damp towel. Keep phyllo covered as you work.

  • Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface. Lightly brush phyllo with melted butter; place another sheet on top, and brush with butter; place a third sheet of phyllo on top, and brush with butter. Cut into four rectangles. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the custard in center of a rectangle. Gather and pinch pastry around custard, forming a purse shape with a ruffled top. Place in a muffin tin so it retains its shape while others are formed. Repeat the entire process with remaining phyllo and custard, making a total of 24.

  • Transfer purses to a parchment-lined baking sheet; brush sides of purses with melted butter. Bake until flaky and golden brown, 27 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.

  • While pastries are baking, place remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool. Drizzle syrup over warm pastries.

Subscribe to the Blog

& stay up to date