Galatoboureko Recipe

"My mom has made this Eastern European dessert for nearly every holiday that I can remember. With its flaky phyllo and sweet custard filling, the question was not whether we would finish the pan but who wanted an edge piece or who would go for the center. The kids would always get lucky with the creamy centers, while my father and godfather would gladly gobble up the edges. This will forever be a recipe that I hold close, as it brings up the sweetest memories of our family's holidays together."

Gina Gancheva, Applegate Director of Brand Management

As featured in The Applegatarian. 


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon quick enriched farina
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract 
  • 8 ounces phyllo sheets, defrosted
  • 1½ sticks(¾ cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. In a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the milk and heavy cream just until boiling. In a small bowl, combine the farina and ½ cup sugar; gradually add to the milk and cream, whisking constantly. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture is slightly thickened, 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. In a large bowl with a mixer at high speed, beat the egg yolks with the vanilla until well combined. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the farina mixture. Mix until well combined.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  4. Remove the phyllo from the packaging and carefully unroll it. Cover with a clean kitchen towel to keep from drying out while you work with it.
  5. In a buttered baking sheet, lay 1-2 sheets of phyllo (depending on their size) on the bottom, letting it extend up the sides of the pan. Brush with the melted butter. Repeat to make about 5 more layers, buttering each as you go.
  6. Pour the farina mixture into the phyllo-lined baking pan.
  7. If necessary, cut the remaining phyllo sheets into 13 x 9-inch rectangles. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on the farina mixture; brush with the butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets and butter. Use the tip of a sharp knife to score the top phyllo layer into 2¼-inch squares.
  8. Bake until the top is golden brown and puffed, 33-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.
  9. Meanwhile, about 10 minutes before the galatoboureko is finished baking, combine the remaining 1½ cups sugar, lemon zest, and ½ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved and the syrup is slightly thickened, about 8 minutes (it should stay clear). Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  10. Pour the hot syrup evenly over the top of the galatoboureko. Let cool at least 1 hour before serving.
  11. To serve, use a sharp knife to finish cutting through the layers, following the scored lines. Serve warm or at room temperature.