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This luscious, cream-filled fillo dessert is great served warm.

3 sticks unsalted butter 
4 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup fine semolina flour
6 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1-pound box Athens/Apollo fillo pastry, defrosted and at room temperature
2 cups syrup

NOTE: Halve the syrup recipe below.

Melt one stick of butter in a large saucepan. Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the semolina, and cook 6-7 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent lumping. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, orange rind, and vanilla. Slowly add one cup of the hot semolina-milk mixture to the eggs and stir well and quickly. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan, stirring until smooth and thick. Let stand, covered, for at least 1 hour to cool.   

Melt remaining 2 sticks butter. Preheat the oven to 3500F, and lightly grease a 9”x 13”x 2 1/2” baking pan with a little melted butter. 

Unroll the fillo. Brush 8 sheets with melted butter and stack on the bottom of the pan. Pour the custard filling evenly over them. Top with 8 more sheets of fillo, brushing each with butter. Score the galaktoboureko vertically into 4 rows with a sharp knife. Sprinkle with a little water and bake for 1 hour, or until the fillo is golden and the filling set. Remove and cool.

Have the syrup ready and cool. Spoon the cool syrup over the hot pastry slowly, allowing it to seep in. Let stand for 30 minutes. Cut into diagonals to form diamonds, and serve warm.

Yield: 20-40 pieces, depending on size


SYRUP: Basic syrup recipe for baklava, galaktoboureko and melomakarona.


- 4 cups sugar
- 4 cups water
- 2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. As soon as the sugar dissolves, add the lemon juice and the cinnamon stick.  Bring syrup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Let the syrup cool completely before pouring over pastry.  Yields: 6-7 cups.