Greek Custard Pie


1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
6 whl cloves
4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup fine semolina flour
1/4 cup unsalted butterstick, see note)
1 tablespoon packed grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 eggs, beaten
1 (1 lb) package frozen phyllo pastry sheets (about 24 sheets), thawed
3/4 cup x to 1 unsalted butter, melted (1 ½ to 2 sticks<
1 egg, beaten to blend, for glaze


This is a special dessert - something to share with company, after an uncomplicated dinner of grilled lamb and a Greek salad. The rich orange custard is layered between flaky phyllo, then drizzled with honey syrup. It's not difficult to make, but does take time. Make the syrup and filling the day before and refrigerate. Bring both to room temperature before you proceed with the recipe.
To make syrup: Combine water, 1 cup sugar, honey, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves in a heavy, medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Increase heat to high and boil until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
To make pie: Combine milk and 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy large saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk in semolina in a thin steady stream. Whisk constantly until mixture thickens and is smooth, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup butter; whisk until melted.
Remove from heat. Whisk in orange zest and vanilla. Cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally. Whisk in 5 beaten eggs. Can be made a day ahead.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13-by-9 inch glass baking dish. Unfold entire package of stacked phyllo sheets on work surface. Cut phyllo stack into 13-by-9 inch rectangle. Cover phyllo stack with sheet of plastic wrap, then damp kitchen towel to prevent drying. Transfer 1 phyllo sheet to prepared baking dish. Brush phyllo sheet with some melted butter. Place second phyllo sheet atop first sheet in dish; brush with butter.
Repeat with 10 more phyllo sheets and butter. Spread custard evenly over stacked phyllo. Brush 1 phyllo sheet with butter, then place atop custard in dish, buttered side up; repeat buttering and stacking of remaining phyllo sheets. Brush egg glaze over phyllo. Cut 6 top phyllo layers into 2 1/2 inch-wide diamonds or squares.
Bake pie until phyllo is deep golden and custard is set, about 55 minutes.
Remove from oven. Immediately pour 1 cup syrup, 1/4 cup at a time, over top of pie, allowing syrup to soak in before adding more. Cool pie to room temperature.
(Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.) Cut all the way through precut diamonds or squares. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Note: Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.
Note: Defrost frozen packaged phyllo overnight in the refrigerator.




1.0 servings


Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - 10:26pm



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