Custard Pie (Γαλακτομπούρεκο)

There`s absolutely no discussion about which dessert to choose when this one`s on the menu !  Served with a nice dollop of kaimaki ice cream……….

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Galaktoboureko

Ingredients

1.1  litres fresh milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup fine semolina

5 small to medium eggs

3 heaped dessertspoons butter

2 vanillas

1 packet filo pastry (the paper thin type)

250 g butter melted, for the filo pastry

Syrup

3 1/2 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups water

A strip of lemon peel

1 tsp lemon juice

These quantites fill a 38 cm x 28 cm ish baking tray

Procedure

Heat the milk in a saucepan, just before it boils, add the semolina slowly, through a sieve.  Stir continuously with a wooden spoon. If the semolina is added too quickly, lumps will form, * so make sure the flow is steady, slow and that you stir well as you add.  As it begins to boil, it will thicken.  Remove from the heat.  In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla, then pour into the mixture steadily. stirring as you go. Add the butter, stir well to melt and leave to one side.  Stir occasionally to avoid a skin forming.

Preheat your oven to 170/175 degrees.

Butter the baking tray well.  Using half of the packet of filo (usually each packet has 10 sheets), for the base of the pie, begin laying the sheets over the base and up the sides of the tray, one at a time, brushing each sheet generously with the melted butter.

Pour in the custard mixture, spread evenly. Fold inwards any filo edges which overlap the sides, brush with butter.

Continue laying the remainder of the sheets over the mixture, brushing each sheet with melted butter, including the surface of the last one.

Cut portions through the sheets very gently with a good sharp knife.  Sprinkle a little water over the surface and bake for approx. 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

In the meantime, prepare the syrup, boiling the sugar and water with the lemon peel for 5 minutes, add the lemon juice and boil for a further 2/3 minutes and remove from the heat.

When the pie is cooked, using a ladle, spoon slowly 3/4 of the syrup over the pie, allowing it to absorb.**  Pop the remaining 1/4 of the syrup back on to the heat and reduce further, then pour over the pie.  This allows the finishing syrup to be slightly thicker.

Notes

If you end up with lumps in the custard, you can push it through a sieve

The trick with syruping desserts, is one should be cooler than the other, ie, the pie straight from the oven, and the syrup slightly cooler.  You should hear the filo pastry crackling as you pour the syrup over.