Galatoboureko (custard pie)

A recipe from the Good Food collection.


1 vanilla pod, sliced in half lengthways

3 cups (750 ml/24 fl oz) milk

110 g (4 oz) caster sugar

110 g (4 oz) semolina

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind

1 cinnamon stick

40 g (1½ oz) unsalted butter, cubed

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

12 sheets filo pastry (40 × 30 cm/16 × 12 inches)

60 g (2 oz) unsalted butter, extra, melted


75 g (3 oz) caster sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

5 cm (2 inch) strip lemon rind


1. Scrape the vanilla pod seeds into a saucepan. Add the pod, milk, sugar, semolina, lemon rind and cinnamon stick and gently bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes so the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat. Mix in the butter. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cinnamon stick and pod and gradually mix in the egg. Preheat the oven to moderate 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

2. Cover the filo with a damp tea towel. Remove a sheet, brush one side with melted butter and place buttered-side-down in a 30 × 20 × 3 cm (12 × 8 × 1¼ inch) baking tin. The filo will overlap the edges. Repeat with 5 more sheets, buttering one side of each as you go.

3. Pour the custard over the filo and cover the top with the remaining pastry, brushing each sheet with butter as you go. Brush the top with butter. Using a small sharp knife, trim the pastry to the edges of the tin. Bake for 40–45 minutes, or until the custard has puffed up and set and the pastry has turned golden brown. Leave to cool.

4. Mix all the syrup ingredients with 75 ml (2½ fl oz) water in a saucepan. Slowly bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. The syrup will thicken. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.

5. Remove the lemon rind. If the filo has risen above the edges of the tin, flatten the top layer with your hand, then pour the syrup over the pie. This will prevent the syrup running over the sides. Allow to cool again before serving.