Galaktoboureko (Ouzo Cream-Filled Pastries)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 lb (454 g) phyllo dough, thawed (see note)
- Ground cinnamon
- 2 cups (500 ml) sugar
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 strip orange zest
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup (250 ml) sugar
- 1 cup (250 ml) flour
- 5 cups (1.25 litres) milk
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) Ouzo
- 4 eggs
- In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cinnamon, orange zest and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Remove the cinnamon and zest. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, off the heat, combine the sugar, flour and 500 ml (2 cups) of milk. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining milk and blend well. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the Ouzo and remove from the heat. Allow to cool. In a bowl, beat the eggs and add to the warm filling.
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Butter a 33 x 23-cm (13 x 9-inch) baking dish.
- Butter and stack 6 sheets of phyllo and place them in the prepared dish. Spread the filling on the dough. Cover with four sheets of phyllo brushed with butter. With a knife, cut the excess dough around the dish.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes. Pre-cut portions in the dish, then pour about 2/3 of the cooled syrup. Allow to cool. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve. Will keep in refrigerator.
You can freeze leftover phyllo sheets, if they haven’t dried. Make sure to put them in a tightly sealed bag.
Like all Mediterranean, the Greeks have a weakness for anise. Its scent is reminiscent of licorice. The people of Provence produce pastis, the Italians love sambucca while the Greeks drink ouzo. This national liquor is drunk neat, on ice, or diluted with fresh water. It is also used to flavor dishes such as this pastry. If you do not like the flavor of anise, omit the ouzo and add a little vanilla extract.