Hey, Martha, I see your ruffled milk pie and raise you a Galaktoboureko.
I loved the look of Martha’s milk pie and thought if I make it in a rectangular instead of a round pan it would be THE perfect dessert for the 4th of July. Here’s how I envisioned it: the ruffles would mimic the fabric folds in the wind while blueberries and raspberries would add the stars and stripes. Neat, right?
I followed Martha’s recipe to a tee and as I was pouring custard over the ruffles I noticed there was way too much custard but emptied the bowl anyways. It will sure reduce by cooking or the ruffles will expand, I reasoned, and it will look just like Martha’s. I was wrong. The pie came out solid and no ruffles to be seen. Sigh. Clearly, her picture was taken before the custard was added. Dirty trick, Martha!
Since the recipe calls for only one roll of phyllo (sometimes spelled fillo and filo) package, I had another roll to try again. I used less than half her custard recipe and my ruffles were visible this time. I still didn’t like its golden pastry hue, but powdered sugar fixed that to some degree. All in all, it is very simple and tasty recipe no matter the color and shape. Authentic Greek recipes for milk pie also include semolina, which I didn’t use, but don’t confuse galatopita with galktoboureko. The former is made without the phyllo.
If you have never used phyllo pastry sheets before you can find them in the freezer section of your grocery store, usually right next to the pie crusts. What to do with the second roll of phyllo? Make spinach and cheese pie, which I made on the air for Dinner and a Book TV show, or baklava (an old recipe of mine that clearly needs new photos). Both taste exceptional!
Makes 9×13-inch pan
1 roll (12-14 sheets) Phyllo Pastry Sheets
6 tablespoons Butter, melted
2 large Eggs
1 cup whole Milk or Heavy Cream
1 cup Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Powdered Sugar, for dusting
Blueberries and Raspberries (optional)
Generously grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with some of the melted butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Loosely ruffle one by one phyllo dough sheet by pulling the short ends together. There’s no wrong way of doing it. It’s similar to crumpling the paper but instead of crumpling it into a ball you scrunch it along the long side (see photos below).
Work quickly as the delicate sheets dry out fast or keep the rest covered while you’re ruffling. Place upright into prepared pan. Repeat process with remaining sheets, layering them closely next to each other. Of course, you might choose Martha’s way and place them in a round cake pan in a spiral.
With a pastry brush, brush remaining butter all over your ruffles. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, heat the milk or cream until just begins to boil. Set aside. Beat together the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl. Gradually add heated milk, a little bit at a time, whisking constantly; add vanilla, lemon juice and zest.
Spoon the milk mixture evenly all over baked phyllo. Toss fruit over the ruffles or create a pattern.
Bake until filling has set, 25 to 30 minutes more. Dust with powdered sugar and add more fruit if desired.
This recipe is featured at What’s On The List?
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