It was 11 years ago at a small Greek food fair in San Jose, CA that my life was irrevocably transformed for the better. After an amazing meal of spitted roast lamb, redolent with garlic and oregano, I wandered over to the dessert kiosk.
There, I saw baklava…and something else. Baklava, but it appeared to have custard between the layers of phyllo! Never having met a custard I didn’t like, I asked for a piece.
It was a revelation – sweet, wonderfully palate-filling and sinfully rich.
I asked its name.
…and thus was my lifelong doom ensured. 😉
Galaktoboureko (gah-lahk-toh-BOO-reh-koh) can easily become your favorite Greek pastry as well – what’s not to love about custard and flaky phyllo dough baked to perfection and then soaked in lemon and orange-infused syrup? 🙂
The only downside is that it is best served the same day it is made. Once refrigerated past 12 hours, it is no longer celestial – so eat it ALL! 🙂
I added some enhancements to the classic recipe, adding a touch of vanilla and rosewater and adding orange flavor from a good shot of Grand Marnier. It adds more rounded depth to the final product, IMHO. I also removed the cinnamon used in the original recipe, as I am not fond of that spice. Feel free to dust your cut piece with some before eating/serving.
I dedicate this recipe to my dear friend John Zacharakis, whose favorite dessert this is. 🙂
Battle on – The Generalissimo