Galatopita, (pr. Gha-lah-TOH-pee-tah), which means milk pie, is a very simple, rustic, Arcadian, traditional pudding cake which dates back to antiquity.
It is made with simple ingredients such as goat or ewes’ milk, eggs, flour, honey and cinnamon.
Since ancient times, trade has had an important role in human life. During their travels abroad, the ancient Greeks brought back various spices with them.
The addition of vanilla to this dessert is more contemporary.
My husband, who comes from Isioma, Karyon, Megalopolis, in Arcadia (Peloponnese) left his village when he was ten years old.
His father went to Athens for a job when he was very young. Two of his four sisters went to Athens as well, one to work and the other to attend high school.
Eventually the remaining family went to Athens when my husband 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 usually make on Easter day.
All the houses back then, had a wood fired oven in their yard. My mother-in-law used to make bread once a week, so when she baked bread and the oven was warm, she would also plan a meal or a dessert that needed baking.
One of the desserts she used to make was “galatopita”.
Yesterday it was our Wedding Anniversary (28 years!!!) and we had a little family celebration, so I prepared this for dessert for my husband.
Its simplicity is what makes it so good.
The first time I made Galatopita, I had some leftover phyllos, which I used as the base of this dessert.
The original recipe
The original recipe was given to me by one of my sisters-in-law and is without phyllo.
The recipe is measured with glasses*, as was the old traditional way. You can use a normal glass you drink water in and use the same glass to measure all the other ingredients.
A cup of sugar for example is 225 grams. As you will see below, a glass of sugar, not filled to the rim, is almost the same weight.
However, if you substitute the measurement with cups it will still work because the capacity of a normal water drinking glass is almost the same with a cup.
When I made her recipe the first time, I just folded the overhanging phyllos on top of the pudding and the centre was “naked”.
When I made Galatopita again, I used phyllos again but simplified the procedure.
The pudding I made is similar to the one I use to make Galaktoboureko but without a top layer and syrup.
I used three sheets of phyllo which I wet with clarified butter.
Since we now live alone in Assini, just the two of us, I adjusted the recipe to make it in a small Pyrex.
I brushed each phyllo with the melted butter and layered them on the baking dish, each time changing direction, so that all sides of the baking tin were covered.
After adding the pudding, I folded the phyllos, which were hanging outside of the baking dish by forming them into a roll, around the rim of the baking tin. As they dry easily, they must be brushed with butter to keept them soft.
You will find this recipe at the end.
Traditional Galatopita with phyllo
(traditional recipe from Arcadia, Peloponnese)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 40 – 45 minutes
Yields: about 20 pieces
- 6 glasses* ewe’s milk
- 1 ½ glasses* sugar
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 glasses* fine semolina
- 5 extra large eggs
- 1 vanillin
- Butter to grease the pan
- Honey or icing sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle on top
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 180o C.
- Butter a 25 X 30 cm baking pan.
- Heat the milk with half of the sugar.
- Whisk the eggs with the remaing sugar until white and frothy.
- In a large pot, add the semolina and the lemon zest and whisk to combine.
- Add the hot milk whilst whisking.
- Put it on the heat and keep whisking, until the cream thickens.
- Add the whisked eggs mixing continuously, until incorporated.
- Pour the pudding into the prepared pan.
- Whisk the egg with sugar and water and spread over the surface of the pudding.
- Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until the top becomes golden-brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature, with some honey or 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.
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- 3 phyllo sheets
- 100 grams clarified butter
- 1 litre whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cup semolina (3/4 cup fine - ¼ cup coarse)
- 20 grams butter (optional)
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 180o C / 350o F.
- Grease a 17 x 25 cm Pyrex with butter.
- Heat the milk with half of the sugar.
- In a larger pot, put the eggs, remaining sugar, semolina and salt and mix to combine, using a balloon whisk.
- Add the hot milk, mixing quickly with the balloon whisk and then put the pot on the heat. Stir continuously until the pudding comes to boiling point and sets.
- Remove from the heat and mix in the butter and vanilla.
- Cover with cling film and set aside to cool.
- Brush a baking tin or Pyrex with butter.
- Layer the phyllo sheets, alternating from horizontally to vertically, so as to cover the sides of the baking dish.
- Press the phyllo sheets with the brush, to make room for the pudding.
- Empty the pudding and spread out evenly.
- Fold the phyllos, which are outside of the dish, forming them into a roll.
- Brush them with some butter.
- Empty the pudding in the Pyrex and put it on the centre rack of the oven.
- Bake for approximately 35 – 40 minutes, until it becomes golden on top.
- Remove on a rack until it is lukewarm and sprinkle with some icing sugar and ground cinnamon on top.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 115mg Sodium: 140mg Carbohydrates: 14g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 7g Protein: 7g
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Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,