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
1¼ cups farina or Cream of Wheat
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)
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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