Galaktoboureko

Known as Galaktoboureko in Greek, Kahi in Arabic, and delicious in English. This buttery, fillo dough-layered dessert, has a delectable custard filling. Do I have your attention yet? If so, continue reading to learn more!

Like most people, I love Greek food. Growing up in Chicago, my best friend Jenny was Greek. Jenny’s family owned a Greek restaurant. Sometimes I think My Big Fat Greek Wedding was based on her family!

I’ll never forget when we first discovered how similar our food and recipes are. I told her my favorite Assyrian dish was dolma (stuffed grape leaves) and she said “we make the same dish, it’s called dolmathes.” I then told her about a dish called “fasolia” (long bean stew.) She nodded knowingly, “fasolada.” I asked if they made “Kefteh” (kabobs) and she exclaimed, “keftethes!” So what did we learn that day? Basically, “the root word of most Greek food names is actually Assyrian…there you go!” (My Big Fat Greek Wedding reference.) If you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing, and go watch it now!

I thought I was a Greek food expert, thanks to Jenny. Then a lady that I follow on Instagram shared a recipe for “Galaktoboureko.” Although I’d never heard of this dessert before, I decided to make some for a women’s church event that I attended last night. I guess it was a big hit, because I came home with an empty platter!

Original Recipe:

Cooking For Fun



Print Recipe
Galaktoboureko or Kahi (Buttery Fillo Dough with Custard Filling)
Kahi
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Filling:
Other Ingredients:
Syrup:
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Filling:
Other Ingredients:
Syrup:
Kahi
Instructions
  1. Fillo dough can usually be found the in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Make sure you defrost it for a few hours before using.​ Fillo dough comes in different sizes. If you find the sheets are too large for the 9" x 13" pan, just slice the sheets in half so that they fit in the pan. You may need additional butter to layer the sheets with. 
    Athens fillo
  2. Whisk together the first seven filling ingredients over low to medium heat. Continue whisking for approximately 5 minutes until the custard mixture is thick and bubbly. Turn off the stove, and stir in the butter until melted. Set aside to cool. 
    Custard
  3. Next, stir all the syrup ingredients over medium heat until boiling. Turn the heat down to low, and continue to simmer for approximately 25 minutes. Remove cardamom pods and allow to cool.
    sugar syrup
Preheat oven to 375°F
  1. Microwave 1 stick of butter until melted (approximately 1 minute.) Brush a 9"x13" ceramic dish with the melted butter. 
    melted butter
  2. Unroll fillo dough, lay flat on a cookie sheet, and cover with a washcloth to prevent it from drying out. ​
    fillo dough
  3. Carefully remove one sheet at a time, folding parts of it as necessary in order to make it fit in the pan. Gently brush each layer with the melted butter. Continue to do this until you have used up approximately 1/3 of the sheets.
    fillo pastry
  4. Using a rubber spatula, spread 1/2 of the cooled custard over the fillo sheets.
    fillo custard
  5. Cover with an additional third of the sheets, buttering each as you go. Spread the remaining custard over the second layer of sheets.
    Kahi in a pan
  6. At this point you can either continue layering the buttered sheets as you have been doing, or shred them into strips and sprinkle or brush them with butter.
    fillo shredded
  7. Pour any remaining butter over the pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
    fillo
  8. Upon removing the pan from the oven, slowly pour the syrup over the pastry, making sure every inch is completely covered. Sprinkle with nuts, if using. 
    kahi
  9. Allow to cool before slicing, and don't forget to share with your friends!
    Kahi
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