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5 from 1 vote

Galaktoboureko or Kahi (Buttery Fillo Dough with Custard Filling)

A flaky International dessert of fillo dough, filled with a creamy custard filling.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Assyrian, Greek, Middle Eastern
Servings: 24 people
Calories: 223kcal



  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup semolina
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • 2 T unsalted butter

Other Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter (8 Tablespoons)
  • 1 package fillo dough
  • 1/4 cup toasted and ground almonds or pistachios


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice



  • 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.
  • Place in the refrigerator to cool.


  • 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.

Preheat oven to 400°F


    • Microwave 1/2 cut of butter until melted (approximately 1 minute.) Brush a 9"x13" ceramic dish with the melted butter. 
    • Unroll fillo dough, lay flat on a cookie sheet, and cover with a washcloth to prevent it from drying out. ​
    • Place one sheet of dough into the pan, and brush with melted butter.
    • Fold fillo dough 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 half of the sheets.
    • Using a rubber spatula, spread the cooled custard over the fillo sheets.
    • Cover with the sheets, buttering each as you go.
    • Slice into squares, or diamonds, and pour any remaining butter over the top.
    • Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    • Slowly pour syrup all over the pastry, making sure to distribute evenly. Allow to cool before slicing, and don't forget to share it with your friends!


    Cook's Tips:

    Fillo dough can usually be found in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Make sure you defrost it for a few hours before using it.​
    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.


    Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 155mg | Fiber: 1g