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Greek custard pie is delightful served with sorbet
The most challenging part of this dessert is to be able to pronounce it: ga-lak-to-bou-ree-ko. This week's recipe is my wife Anne's version of galaktoboureko, and the following story is written by her:
I remember seeing the Kokkari cookbook for the first time on a trip to the Bay Area. Salim and I were browsing at the food market on Fourth Street in Berkeley. Without hesitation, I knew I would buy it. I wanted one recipe, and the whole book would be worth this one. And, of course, surely there would be others, too.
Salim and I have dined at Kokkari, one of the best Greek restaurants in San Francisco, for several years and enjoyed all the dishes we have tried. But there was one dish we always ordered: the galaktoboureko.
It is a light and flaky phyllo dough wrapped around a light semolina custard and is usually served warm with ice cream. It is the perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess with a warm crispy shell. It is so light and delicate, it was never too much to sample after even a substantial meal.
The yogurt sorbet is our addition, an experiment that was a winner. Even though most people cannot conceive of a sorbet with dairy, this one is unlike any ice cream you have tried.
We will be serving this dessert at Café Collage for Valentine's eve dinner.
For semolina custard:
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄2 cup sugar, divided use
1⁄4 cup semolina flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1⁄2 cup clarified butter (you can find clarified butter, or ghee, in health food stores and some grocery stores)
In a small saucepan, combine the milk, cream and 1⁄4 cup sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1⁄4 cup sugar with the flour and egg. Whisk half of the hot milk mixture into the flour mixture to warm it, then return the mixture to the saucepan.
Bring it to a boil, whisking constantly until smooth and thick. Transfer to a bowl to cool and add the vanilla extract. While the custard cools, give it a good stir regularly to prevent a skin from forming.
Once the custard has cooled, put it into a pastry bag fitted with a 1⁄2-half inch tip. Set aside.
Roll out the phyllo sheets on a flat surface. Using scissors or a knife, stacked the phyllo sheets and cut them into four equal-sized squares, once in half vertically and once in half horizontally.
Put one square of phyllo on your work surface, and cover the remaining phyllo with plastic wrap and a damp towel. Using a pastry brush, brush the phyllo square with clarified butter. Top with two more squares, brushing each one with butter in the same way.
Pipe a "log" of custard in a straight line along the shorter side near you, leaving a 1-inch border on the sides and end. Fold the shorter side of the phyllo over the filling, tucking it under, then fold in about 1 inch of dough along each of the longer sides. Continue rolling from the shorter side to make a log about 4-1⁄2 inches long. Transfer to a baking sheet and brush the top with more butter.
Repeat with the remaining phyllo dough until you have used it all. You will have 16 logs. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled.
Preheat over to 500 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and pierce each log in four places with the tip of a paring knife to vent steam during baking. Bake until golden brown, about eight minutes. Serve warm (not hot) with a scoop of the yogurt sorbet (recipe follows).
YIAOURTI (YOGURT) SORBET
1-1⁄2 cups sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 cups Greek-style whole milk yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool, then refrigerate for at least two hours. Whisk together the chilled sugar syrup, yogurt and lemon juice. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Freeze mixture in an ice cream maker. The sorbet will not freeze hard but will remain soft and slightly creamy. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze for another hour until firm before serving.