Galatopita, which means milk pie, is a very simple, rustic, Arcadian, traditional pudding cake which dates back to antiquity and was made with simple ingredients such as milk, eggs, flour, honey and cinnamon. The milk was from sheep or goats milk and from that milk they also made butter.
Yesterday it was our Wedding Anniversary (28 years!!!) and we had a little family celebration, so I prepared this for dessert.
Spices were imported from their trips to other countries. Vanilla flavour is optional and it was added to this dessert much later on.
Its simplicity is what makes it so good.
Old measurements are with a drinking glass but don’t worry about measuring it with a glass. Use a normal glass you drink water in and use the same glass to measure all the other ingredients. If you don’t want to use a glass, you can use a measuring cup as it’s capacity is almost the same.
My husband, who comes from Isioma, Karyon, Megalopolis, in Arcadia (Peloponnese) left his village when he was ten years old. However, he has many memories from his childhood and he tells me that this was the traditional dessert his mother would make on Easter day. During the fasting period of Lent there was abundance of ewes’ milk and eggs, so apart from making cheese, trahanas or hilopites, they still had a lot to make desserts.
When I decided to make Galatopita, I had some leftover phyllo which I used as a base of this dessert, the same way I make Galaktoboureko but without a top layer. I did not add too much sugar in the recipe as I added syrup on top.
The recipe is measured with glasses*, as was the old traditional way. However, if you substitute the measurement with cups it will still work because the capacity of a water drinking glass is almost the same with a cup.
Galatopita with phyllo
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 40 – 45 minutes
Yields: about 20 pieces
- 8 phyllo sheets
- 100 grams butter (to brush the phyllo)
- 6 glasses* whole milk (wherever glass is mentioned, substitute with cup)
- ½ glass* sugar
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 1 3/4 glasses* fine semolina
- 5 extra large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the syrup:
- 1 glass* sugar
- 1 ½ glasses* water
- 5 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 lemon peel
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Butter a 25 X 30 cm baking pan.
Brush each phyllo with melted butter (or used clarified butter) and layer them on the baking tin, each time changing direction, so that all sides of the baking tin are covered.
In a large pot, add milk, with 1/2 glass of sugar, semolina, lemon zest and vanilla essence and keep whisking on the heat, until the cream thickens.
Remove from the heat and set aside for a while, for the temperature to drop the (about 5 minutes).
Size of a measuring glass
Quickly whisk in three of the eggs and keep whisking to incorporate them without curdling them.
Pour into the prepared pan. Fold each phyllo, which is outside the tin on top of the cream, brushing with some butter.
Whisk the remaining two eggs with 2 heaped spoonfuls of sugar and pour over the cream. Make sure that the eggs cover the entire surface, using a brush .
Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until the top becomes golden-brown.
As soon as you put the pie in the oven prepare the syrup.
Add sugar, water, lemon peel, cloves and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil.Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat.When the pie is ready discard lemon peel, cinnamon and cloves and pour the syrup with a spoon, making sure that it will wet the entire surface. Add it gradually, allowing it to be absorbed and then add more.
Serve warm or cold, with some icing sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top.
You can find my Greek recipes in my cookbooks «More Than A Greek Salad», and«Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» both available on all Amazon stores. Read more here.
Other related Recipes:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,