Galaktoboureko recipe

I haven’t posted in a while… So here’s a recipe that’s 100% vegan.. all measurements are approximate because my people don’t measure things since we’re always right. I’m getting better at making childhood favorites dairy-free and mostly egg-free. 🙂

(pronounced: ga-lahk-toh-BOO-ree-koh)
It’s a custard pie that’s kind of like baklava but without the nuts. The name is a combination of Greek and Turkish: “galakto” means “of milk” in Greek, and “börek” is Turkish for a filo-filled pastry. This is a family recipe that I modified to remove milk and eggs.


You need: a 9x13ish baking dish, a large saucepan, a pastry brush, a wire whisk, blender (optional), a small saucepan… and I think that’s it.

Custard filling:
-4 cups unsweetened almond milk (one cardboard container)
-1 cup soy milk
-3-5 tbsps vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
-6 oz silk tofu (about 1/3 of a package)
-1/2 cup + 1/3 cup sugar
-3 tbsps flour
-3/4 cup semolina flour, as fine as you can find. The fluffier, the better.
-2 tbsps vanilla extract
-1 tbsp raspberry extract (or brandy)
-Grated lemon or orange zest. I prefer the whole lemon because it makes for a stronger lemon taste, but it’s up to you how much. At least half the lemon or orange.
-A few squeezes of the lemon or orange you just zested.

-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup water
-1/4 cup agave or honey
-2 tbsps raspberry extract (or 1/4 cup brandy)
-2-4 cinnamon sticks
-4-6 cloves (optional)

-Package of frozen filo – a 1lb package is plenty
-About 1/2 cup of vegan butter, melted
-3-6 tbsp olive oil (do not use vegetable oil – the filo will do weird things. But that might be a wive’s tale.)

Custard filling.

1. In a fairly-large sauce pan, mix the almond and soy milk and bring them to a simmer. Don’t let the mix boil, you’ll regret it.

2. Slowly whisk in the first 1/2 cup of sugar.

3. Slowly whisk in the semolina and don’t stop stirring. Make sure it doesn’t clump up… It’s literally what pasta is made out of, so it’s a doughy kind of flour. It clumps easily, but the goal is a custard.

4. Add the butter and keep stirring until the mixture is thick, at least 5 minutes. It’ll kinda look like cake batter or pudding.

5. Remove from heat and let it cool for a bit.

6. Make the egg substitute mixture. Use a blender to mix the tofu, the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar, flour, vanilla and raspberry extracts, and the lemon zest. Puree the hell out of this until it’s pretty creamy.

7. Add the egg substitute to the rest of the custard, slowly and making sure the tofu doesn’t do anything weird with the semolina. If it gets really clumpy, put it back on the heat for a minute to melt things and to make the combining easier.


1. Combine the melted butter and olive oil in a cup.

2. Coat the baking dish with the butter and oil mix. Make sure to get the sides.

3. By now, the filo should be unfrozen and close to room temp. Filo is a bit of a pain to work with because it dries really quick. Either be quick with the next few steps, or place a warm, wet towel over the dough to keep it wet.

4. First layer of filo… cover the bottom and sides of the dish. I like to use 2 or 3 sheets and cover the sides of the dish. It’s cool if a bit hangs over the edge.

5. Brush this layer with the butter/oil mixture. Repeat x 10 sheets. Try not to break the sheets, but it’ll happen. The important part is that there’s a layer of butter/oil between each sheet.

If you don’t think you could be lightning-fast on the next part, I suggest a warm, wet towel over the filo now to keep it wet.

Put the pie together.

1. Pour the custard over the filo. A ladle works for this, especially if you used a pretty large saucepan.

2. The hard part — top the filling with about another 10 sheets of filo, in the same way as the bottom layer with butter/oil between each sheet. Be super careful, or else the filo will explode on you. If there’s any filo on the sides just hanging out, it’s probably a bit dry by now. Fold it over onto the pie and make it not dry.

3.With a fairly sharp knife, cut the pie. A few 2 inch sections on the smaller side, and triangles on each section works pretty well. It’s ok if some of the custard seeps through but don’t overdo it. Drizzle the rest of the butter/oil on top.

4. Bake at 300-350 for about 40-60 minutes, depending on your oven. If it’s like mine, 40 minutes at 300 was plenty. But I’m gonna assume that your oven isn’t like 40 years old and actually has some kind of temp control, so 60 minutes at 350 would probably work.

5. The top layer of filo will be golden brown-ish when it’s ready. The custard will still be pretty wet, so leave it in the over for at least 10 more minutes while it continues to thicken.


1. While the rest of the pie is baking, this is when you’ll make the syrup. Combine all the syrup ingredients into a small saucepan and bring it to a strong boil.

2. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 15-25 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and let it cools for about 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves.

By now, you should have the pie out of the oven. Slowly pour the syrup on top, but mostly at the in-between spots where you cut it pre-baking and around the edges. You don’t want to make a soggy mess.

Let the whole thing sit at room temperature for a bit, until the custard is thick. Usually around 3-5 hours. I also prefer to eat it cold, but it’s good room temp as well.

Leave a Reply

Notify of