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I first hear of galaktoboureko from my friend Carl who professes it to be his favorite dessert. Looking online, I find a recipe and make it but I think it comes out heavy. Galaktoboureko is a Greek semolina custard pie made with filo dough. Like all things arriving in America, it is tweaked. Sometime, somewhere, someone decides that Cream of Wheat is close enough to semolina. NOT!

I run into Gil Marks, cookbook author and rabbi, at Kosherfest last fall. I'm speaking to him about his new HUGE encyclopedia of Jewish foods while thumbing through the book. My eye catches his recipe for galaktoboureko and I turn the corner down before I even pay for the volume. I absolutely trust Gil Marks for documenting original versions of foods. This recipe comes from his book although I don't add the optional fruit and cut the cinnamon back a tad.

Making this yesterday simply so I could have some pictures for the website, I nibble on a piece. Immediately, I take the pan out to the potluck table available to the Hillel students who are studying for finals. This cannot stay in the kitchen with me, must not stay or I'll wear it for the rest of my life. It is so good!

I opt to add a little cinnamon to the custard, probably inspired by the sootloch I had just finished making. I'll say it again, is so good! To me, forget the cheesecake....Shavuot clearly celebrates the giving of the galacktoboureko.

Kosher Status: Dairy
Number of servings: 12 - 16
Main Ingredient(s): Fillo Dough, Eggs
Preparation Time: 00:20
Cooking Time: 00:30
Skill Level: 1 - Easy (1 Easy - 5 Hard)
Estimated POINT value:


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup fine semolina
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 pound box filo dough
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  • juice of 1 lemon


Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the semolina.

Stir until very smooth and cook the roux for about a minute.

Slowly add the milk. Add the sugar and salt, stir until smooth. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. This could take up to 10 minutes. Don't let the mixture burn. 

Crack the eggs into a small bowl or large measuring cup.

When the milk mixture is thick, remove from the heat. Slowly add the eggs to the milk mixture. Add the cinnamon.

When the mixture is well blended, transfer from the pot to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap pressing lightly unto the custard. This will prevent a skin. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filo.

Melt the remaining butter in the microwave. Unroll the filo. On the work table, place one sheet of filo and brush lightly with butter. Continue until you have used seven sheets.

Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan (I used about a 9" x 10" cassarole). Pick up the stack of filo and lay it into the prepared pan.

Scoop the custard into the pan. Gently fold the filo over the custard.

On the work surface, stack and butter the remaining filo dough. Trim the stack so that it will fit the top of the baking dish. With a sharp knife, gently score the top by cutting halfway through the stack of filo. These will be your portion sizes.

Move the stack of filo to the top of the baking dish. Gently tuck any extra dough around the edge.

Bake at 350' until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut into squares using your previous scoring lines as a guide.

While the galaktoboureko bakes, make the syrup. Combine the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to gentle boil over medium heat. Do not stir.

Gently boil until the mixture reaches 225' on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Set aside until ready to use.

Pour the sryup on evenly over the top.

Let rest. Galaktoboureko is best served slightly warm or at room temperature, especially the day it is baked.

And that is how you make a fabulous Kosher Galaktoboureko!

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Hi! Thank you for stopping by to watch me, Leah, cook kosher. I've been the owner operator of my boutique catering firm in Seattle, Leah's Catering, for the past 14 years.

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