Greek Milk Pie, known as Galatopita in Greece, has a long and cherished history in Greek cuisine; it’s a simple, rustic dessert that dates back to a time when ingredients were few and kitchens were basic.
The origins of Galatopita are not precisely documented, but it’s believed to have been a popular dish in rural areas, where dairy products were abundant. The pie’s simplicity made it a go-to recipe for many Greek households, especially during religious periods when people would often reduce or refrain from meat and other animal products.
Over time, the recipe evolved, and regional variations emerged; some versions include filo pastry, while others are crustless, focusing purely on the creamy custard filling. The addition of semolina, vanilla, or even lemon zest in some recipes shows the pie’s adaptability depending on the ingredients available.
Greek milk pie is the go-to dessert for celebrations, holidays, and family gatherings because it’s simply comfort on a plate.
This delightful pie pairs beautifully with a range of accompaniments and it can be enjoyed with a cup of strong Greek coffee or a glass of sweet dessert wine. For a fresh contrast, serve it alongside a fruit compote or a scoop of citrus sorbet; milk pie also complements a plate of assorted Greek cheeses, offering a sweet balance to the savory flavors.
Variations to Suit Every Palate
The pie’s versatile nature allows for various adaptations, for example, for a lighter version, use skim milk and reduce the sugar. To make it dairy-free, use plant-based milk and butter substitutes.
Can milk pie be made in advance?
Yes, you can prepare milk pie a day ahead: store it in the refrigerator and gently warm it up in the oven before serving to revitalize its flavors and texture.
What's the secret to a perfect milk pie?
The key is in the consistency of the milk and semolina mixture - it should be thick enough to hold its shape, but should be thin enough to keep its creamy texture. In this case, slow and steady stirring is essential.
Can I use regular flour instead of semolina?
While semolina is traditional for its unique texture, you can use fine all-purpose flour as a substitute; the texture will be slightly different but still delicious.
Is milk pie served warm or cold?
Milk pie can be enjoyed either warm or cold; serving it warm highlights its creamy texture, while chilling it can enhance its firmness and flavor.
Greek milk pie is a classic - the crust, golden and flaky, encases a velvety filling where the sweetness of milk gently mingles with the comforting essence of butter and a hint of vanilla.
1 hr 5 mins
1 l whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup fine semolina
50 g unsalted butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten
500 g shortcrust pastry
as needed tablespoon powdered sugar for dusting
as needed teaspoon cinnamon for dusting
Heat all the milk in a large saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
Add 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the milk, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Gradually whisk in 90g fine semolina, ensuring no lumps form. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in 50g unsalted butter until it's completely melted.
Slowly add 3 lightly beaten eggs to the semolina mixture, stirring continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Prepare the shortcrust pastry: Roll out the pastry dough and line a buttered ~11-inch pie dish with it. Trim any excess dough from the edges.
Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and optionally line it with parchment paper, filling it with baking beans or rice for blind baking.
Blind bake the pastry in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes or until it is lightly golden.
Remove the pastry from the oven and take out the baking beans and parchment paper.
Pour the semolina and egg mixture into the pre-baked shortcrust pastry shell.
Bake in the oven for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is set and the top is golden brown.
Allow the pie to cool slightly, then dust with powdered sugar and cinnamon before serving.
Stirring the milk and semolina mixture is a vital point of the recipe - slow and steady stirring is essential to keep the mixture at the right thick, creamy consistency.
- Calories 350 kcal |
- Carbohydrate Content 50 g |
- Cholesterol Content 100 mg |
- Fat Content 12 g |
- Fiber Content 1 g |
- Protein Content 9 g |
- Serving Size 1 portion |
- Sodium Content 150 mg |
- Sugar Content 25 g |
- Saturated Fat Content 7 g |