Monday, June 9, 2008

Galatobouriko (Greek Custard Dessert) with Strawberry Coulis

My friend Linda (better known as Ohiomom) invited me to participate in her first food blogging event, Strawberry Moon Festival. We'll be celebrating the "first fruit" of spring by focusing on fabulous recipes using strawberries.

I decided I wanted to keep true to my Greek heritage by combining a strawberry coulis with a traditional dessert. My first thought was Galatobouriko, a classic sweet featuring a creamy custard filling sandwiched between buttery fillo layers and drenched in a light cinnamon and honey syrup. I'd made it before, but I remembered that my Aunt Stella was well known among our Greek friends & family in Los Angeles for her special version. It was unusual because she didn't use the traditional fillo. Years ago I copied her notes on how to make her special version. I figured the fillo-free dessert would be perfect with strawberries.

So, in honor of my Aunt Stella, here's the recipe for Galatobouriko served with a Strawberry Coulis :

Galatobouriko (Greek Custard Dessert) with Strawberry Coulis
(Printable Recipe)

1¼ cups farina or Cream of Wheat
8 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup melted sweet, unsalted butter (divided)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Freshly grated peel of one orange (optional)

1½ cups sugar
½ cup honey
2 cups water
2 sticks cinnamon
Orange peel slice (optional)

Custard Preparation:
  • In large saucepan, heat milk; remove pan from heat.
  • Gradually add Cream of Wheat, stirring constantly.
  • Return saucepan to medium heat.
  • Add sugar and butter; blend thoroughly.
  • Continue to stir; do not allow mixture to burn.
  • Cook about 10 - 15 minute until mixture thickens.
  • Slowly add the Cream of Wheat mixture to the beaten eggs, little by little (ladle by ladle).
  • Pour and mix the egg mixture gently into the hot Cream of Wheat mixture and stir.
  • Add vanilla and grated orange peel(if using); blend well.
  • Set custard aside.
  • To keep “skin” from forming while cooling, stir custard occasionally or place a piece of plastic wrap directly on custard.
Syrup Preparation:
  • In saucepan combine sugar and honey, water, cinnamon sticks, and orange peel (if using).
  • Bring mixture to boil.
  • Continue to boil until syrup is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Discard cinnamon stick and orange peel.
Prepare custard as above using 1/4 cup of the melted butter. Pour the other 1/4 cup melted butter onto bottom of 13” x 9” baking pan. Spoon custard on top of the butter. Bake at 350° for 45 – 60 minutes until custard is completely set and knife inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into pieces (diamond shapes are traditionally Greek) and pour syrup over warm galatobouriko (just enough syrup to fully drench; there will be some left over). Let galatobouriko cool and absorb some of syrup before serving (the custard will not soak up all the syrup because there is no fillo). Refrigerate leftovers.

Note: I halved this recipe and baked the custard in an 8 x 8 inch pan. I had a lot of syrup left over, though. I should have used just 1/4 of the syrup recipe. The custard by itself does not absorb as much syrup as when fillo is on both top & bottom. I refrigerated the remaining syrup. It'll keep almost forever and can be used for pancakes & waffles, over ice cream, to sweeten drinks, etc.

Strawberry Coulis:
  • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and rinsed, or 10 ounces frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
In a blender or food processor, puree strawberries with sugar and lemon juice. Taste and add more sugar or lemon juice as needed. Strain seeds from strawberries, if desired. Cover and refrigerate coulis until ready to serve.


OhioMom said...

Oh Sue this looks fabulous, I sincerely appreciate all the time and effort you put into this dessert.

Your entry for SMF is posted :)

Thank you once again for your entry.

Sarah T. said...

Galapadalapolous. Hi Mom!