Galatkobouteka means "beautiful dessert" in Greek. I'm allergic to nuts and to honey--common ingredients in Greek desserts. So, Eleftheria, my daughter-in-law, made this dessert for me on our first visit to Greece. 

More recently, I made it at work (the College of American Pathologists) for our "Iron Chef Competition"--and, happily, I won. Everybody loves this dessert--sweet but not overwhelming. I hope you enjoy it too.


Fillo filled with custard:

300 gr fillo

1/2 cup butter, melted

4 cups milk (preferably, whole)

3 eggs and 2 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup and one tablespoon fine semolina flour

1 teaspoon vanilla



1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla


Bring milk to boil and set aside to cool slightly. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush 9" x 13" oven dish with butter and lay approximately six sheets of fillo in it, brushing each sheet with butter before spreading the next one. Cover with a clean cloth and lay aside. Beat eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until they become fluffy and whitish in color. Pour in semolina, vanilla and warm milk, a little at a time, stirring continuously. Pour into saucepan and simmer at a low temperature until the cream is slightly thickened. This will take a while--be patient! When custard has thickened, pour over the fillo dough in the pan, then layer the top with six or eight more strips of fillo, brushing each layer with butter. Top should look "crinkly" with folded-over fillo dough. Put in 375 F degree oven; cook 15 minutes, then turn oven to 325 degrees and cook approximately 50 additional minutes.


While custard bakes, make syrup: combine all ingredients, bring to low boil and boil 7 minutes. When custard is golden, remove from oven and pour syrup mixture over. Let cook completely before refrigerating.


This is a bit more work than some desserts, but it is a treat, especially around the holidays, when food and desserts tend to be heavy. It's also great for potlucks, when everyone else is bringing "heavy" desserts (nothing catty about this remark!) Serve it at room temperature. Leftovers make a great breakfast treat.