Galaktoboureko | Greek Custard Dessert
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A Greek custard pie dessert with hints of lemon and vanilla. One of the most delicious Greek desserts around. Everyone loves galaktoboureko!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Greek
Serves: 9
  • ½ lb box of room temperature phyllo (14 sheets total)
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • -Galaktoboureko custard-
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup semolina
  • -Galaktoboureko syrup-
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 slice lemon peel
  • 1 slice orange peel
  1. We'll make the syrup first, as its cool syrup is poured over hot galaktoboureko.
  2. In a pot, add: sugar, water, and lemon juice, mix well. Bring to boil over medium heat, stir occasionally.
  3. Once boiling, add in lemon and orange peels - simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. When simmering time is done, turn off and remove from heat to allow to cool.
  5. - Now, let’s start on the custard for galaktoboureko-
  6. In a large pot, add milk and bring to slight simmer then reduce heat to medium.
  7. As the milk heats, in a bowl, beat eggs and then add sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest, mix thoroughly.
  8. When the milk is at a slight simmer, take 1 cup worth of it and slowly add it to bowl with the egg/sugar mixture--stirring entire time (this is to temper eggs), and set aside.
  9. Now, grab your semolina and slowly add it to the pot with milk, stirring the entire time. Do this in stages. Add a little semolina, stir, little more, stir, etc..
  10. Once all semolina is incorporated into the milk, add in egg/sugar mixture that was tempered earlier, stir until it begins to thicken.
  11. Once the galaktoboureko custard gets thick (think cake batter), turn off and remove from heat.
  12. --Grab your phyllo and let’s assemble the galaktoboureko--
  13. Preheat oven to 350F.
  14. Unwrap phyllo, unroll and cover with a damp towel.
  15. Take your baking dish (we use 9 X 9) and brush with some melted butter.
  16. Take one sheet of phyllo and place it in the dish (you may need to cut them to make them fit).
  17. Brush top of phyllo with some melted butter.
  18. Add another sheet on top, brush with butter -- repeat this 5 more times (total of 7 sheets: phyllo, melted butter, phyllo, etc.,)
  19. After the 7th sheet, pour the custard over the top of the phyllo sheets, and spread evenly.
  20. Repeat step 17-18 with 7 more phyllo sheets.
  21. Brush top sheet with some melted butter, slightly score, and place in oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
  22. Once galaktoboureko is finished, remove from oven and immediately pour the cool syrup over the top. Let it sit to cool for at least 30-40 minutes, or until the sugar is absorbed.*
  23. Cut into squares and enjoy your freshly baked galaktoboureko!
*We like to place it in the fridge for a few hours once it’s cooled down and have it cold ourselves, we would recommend this, but it’s your Greek dessert so it’s up to you!
**Yield is using a 9x9 pan, using say a 9x13 will increase the number of pieces.
Recipe by Lemon & Olives at