Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Galaktoboureko - Greek Custard Pie #‎thebookclubcookbookCC


For July we dove right into Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres for The Book Club Cook Book Cooking Challenge. Sadly, this is our final post for the group as we posted a year's worth of great reads and great food finds. This month was once again hosted by Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

Looking back, it has been an impressive list of book and some great recipes. Many of the things I read and created for this group, I might not have tried otherwise. For that I am grateful!


I was excited this month because the book was, again, one I hadn't read. I actually haven't seen the movie either... But, it also was set in the Greek island of Cephallonia. I love Greek cuisine and knew I wanted to try something I hadn't made or tried previously.

The book itself took me a while to warm up to. It is interesting, yes, surprising as well as humorous at times. The tale of the doctor removing a green petrified pea from a patient's ear was memorable. But what I loved the most was the writing and the setting.

From all that, I was excited to make something I hadn't tried before. I have made Spanakopita before, and it is a dish a love, but I wanted to try something to uniquely tie to the story. A dish and flavors that I didn't have previous memories attached to. I ended up Googling Cephallonia and Greek cuisine and found myself with Galaktoboureko. Someone on vacation mentioned having it one night for dessert.

And if you know me. you know I am always looking to use up some eggs. A custard sounded perfect!


This is actually the first custard I have ever attempted that was thickened with fine semolina flour. I plan to use the rest of this bag to create some amazing pasta.


The only other ingredient I don't work with often is phyllo dough. Nothing mysterious about it. I purchased mine frozen. You will want to thaw it in the refrigerator the day before assembling your dessert.

Other than these ingredients, it was a pretty simple dessert. I was able to make and bake it during nap time and surprise my family with something new.



So for our final month of books and recipes, I suggest you sit down with a copy of Corelli's Mandolin and savor a slice of this creamy Galaktoboureko.

Ready for the recipe?



Galaktoboureko - Greek Custard Pie
recipe adapted from It's All Greek To Me by Debbie Matenopoulos

You will need:

  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 c. fine semolina flour
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 - 1lb. package of phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 large slice of lemon peel
  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • lemon zest for garnish
 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13" baking dish.

In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a slow simmer. Once starting to bubble, stir in the semolina. Once it begins to thicken, take off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar. Slowly start to temper the eggs by pouring in a little of the hot semolina mixture into the eggs while whisking constantly. Add in 2 cups slowly, then pour the egg mixture into the saucepan. Keep whisking to prevent the egg from scrambling. Whisk in the butter till the mixture is smooth. Pour the whole mixture through a strainer to remove any lumps of semolina or egg.

Unroll the phyllo dough on a counter and cover with a kitchen towl to prevent it from drying out  while you work. Work quickly. Place a single sheet in the baking dish, brush with butter and continue stacking and brushing till you have 9 sheets in the dish. 

Then spread the custard evenly over the phyllo dough, then continue layering the phyllo dough and brushing with butter until all the sheets are used. Trim overhanging edges and brush the top with extra butter.

Before baking, score the top few layers into 16 or more equal pieces. Bake uncovered for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the top is golden and flaky.

While baking, create the lemon syrup. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the 2 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 1/2 cups water. Add in the lemon peel and bring it up to boil. After it has boiled for 5 minutes, remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

Once the squares are removed from the oven, immediately begin spooning the simple syrup over the phyllo dough. Cool for 45 minutes before slicing. Top with lemon zest for decoration.

Enjoy!

___________________________

Here we are at the final #thebookclubcookbookCC event. Final. Can you believe it??

It's hard to fathom that our year-long journey to explore - and cook from - The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp* is drawing to a close. Judy, Vicki, and their publisher, Tarcher-Penguin, provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. We are so grateful for their generosity over the past year.

Giveaway
This month Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla, this month's host, is giving away two copies of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook!

TWO of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-PenguinGiveaway runs from July 1st till July 31st at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

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*Disclosure: Camilla received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give two copies away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.


Andrea
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