Baking/ Dessert/ Easter/ European/ Recipes

Small Batch Galatopita – Greek Milk Pie without Filo

16/03/2022

A creamy Greek dessert made with just 7 ingredients! Galatopita is a milk pie similar to a custard tart. No need to pull out the filo for this one as it’s crustless! Perfect for Easter and other celebrations.

Galatopita in a glass baking dish.

Why We Love This

This easy, no fuss dessert will feed the whole family – even at a small batch size, you’ll still get 6 serves! Perfect for Easter or a even a Sunday night dinner.

Make it ahead of time so there’s no cooking required while making dinner. Just garnish and serve.

Related: Italian Style Lemon Ricotta Cake / Apple Crumble with Muesli

Slice of galatopita with a sprig of mint and icing sugar.

What is Galatopita? 

Literally translated, galatopita is the Greek word for “milk pie” and popular in northern Greece. It’s also referred to as a custard pie or a baked semolina pudding. It’s a beautifully creamy dessert, made by warming milk and butter then using semolina to thicken it, similar to when you make a white / bechamel sauce for moussaka.

While some versions can be made with a filo base, we’ve opted to keep it simple and not use filo in our recipe.

What You’ll Need

  • Semolina – Fine semolina will yield the smoothest texture while using the most traditional ingredient. You can substitute with coarse semolina but this will be grainier. Other substitutions include cornstarch / corn flour, rice flour or arrowroot / tapioca flour. These are all thickeners, which is what we’re using it for in this recipe.
  • Milk – Whole milk / full cream works best for a creamy custard. Traditionally, sheep or goat milk is used, so if you have access we’d recommend either of those instead. For dairy free, try barista style creamy nut milks like oat, almond or coconut milk.
  • Butter – We used salted butter, but unsalted is also fine – just add an extra pinch of salt. Plant based butter such as Buttery Nuttelex will work just as well!
  • Eggs – The fresher the eggs the better! We used extra large eggs (58g each).
  • Vanilla Essence – Vanilla essence, vanilla extract or vanilla sugar will work here. Whatever you have in the cupboard! This is a modern addition to the recipe, so you can also omit this if you prefer.
  • Sugar – Fine / caster sugar works best here and allows the sugar to dissolve quicker while heating the milk.
  • Cinnamon – We LOVE cinnamon in Greek cuisine. While it’s not usually added to the custard, we love adding some to the egg wash. You can leave it out though and just use it as a garnish afterwards if you prefer.
Ingredients laid out to Greek milk pie.

How to make Greek Custard Pie without Phyllo:

  1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add in your milksugarvanilla essencebutter and optional lemon zest.
  2. When the butter starts to melt, give everything a quick stir and pour in your fine semolina flour, whisking continually. You’ll find the mixture will start to thicken in 2-3 minutes. Once thick, take off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C. Give your thickened milk a quick whisk. If it has formed a slight skin, just mix it in, this is fine. Very slowly pour in the eggs over three batches, whisking fast as you go.
  1. Once you’ve incorporated all the egg, line a baking tin or glass dish with baking paper or butter, and pour in the milk custard. Flatten out the top with a spoon or spatula.
  2. Whisk the eggvanilla essencesugar and optional cinnamon in a small dish.
  3. Lightly brush or pour over the top of the custard pie. Bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked through, and the top is nicely browned. Note: If your oven browns the top very quickly, place aluminium foil over the top. This will stop it burning and allow the rest of the pie to cook all the way through.
  4. Allow pie to cool to room temperature before slicing. Best served chilled from the fridge.
  5. Garnish with anything from icing sugar and cinnamon to fresh mint or honey!

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Mini Milk Pies – We’ve tried Mum-approved mini galatopita baked into ramekins. This is great if you want them as single serves. Fill to the halfway mark, as it will rise in the oven so this will avoid any spillage.
  • Setting the Custard – When you first remove the custard pie from the oven, it will still be quite soft and “jiggly” like jelly. Once it cools, you’ll notice it sets and firms up considerably.
  • Storage – Once cool, slice it up and keep it in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. We wouldn’t recommend freezing this dish.

FAQs

What if my custard isn’t thickening?

Patience is the key here. Sometimes it will seem like nothing is happening, then the next minute it’s so thick you can hardly whisk it! If it’s been over 5 minutes and nothing is happening, you can try adding 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch to help things along.

My Greek milk pie isn’t cooked in the middle, can I fix it?

Keep cooking for longer. Oven temperatures can really vary the cooking time with this particular dish – adding as much as 10 – 15 minutes onto the baking time. If the top is browning too much, add aluminium foil over the top and keep going. It’s definitely salvageable, so no stress!

The custard went everywhere when I tried to cut it – what went wrong?

Two things could’ve happened here.
1. Not cooled down – The custard won’t be set when you take it out the oven. It needs to cool down to harden, so if it was still warm when you cut it, this could be why! Make sure it’s at least room temperature or has been in the fridge to cool completely before slicing.
2. Not cooked enough – If it’s not set at all even when cooled, it sounds like it’s still uncooked. It’s salvageable! Pop it back in the oven and follow the instructions in the question above.

Variations

  • Simple Milk Pudding – If this has too many ingredients for your liking, try our even simpler French milk pudding – blancmange.
  • With Filo – If you want to have a go at a filo base, use 2-3 sheets to line your baking dish. You’ll need to brush the dish base with melted butter as well as each layer of filo. Allow the edges to overhang while you pour in the custard, then just roll them up to form a crust. If you’re feeling lazy, you can also just fold them straight over the top of the custard for a semi-cover and bake like that.
Slices of Greek custard pie on white plates.

Serve up your Galatopita alongside these Easter dessert favourites:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Baked Greek milk pie, cooling down on a blue tea towel.

Small Batch Galatopita – Greek Milk Pie without Filo

A creamy Greek dessert made with just 7 ingredients! Galatopita is a milk pie similar to a custard tart. No need to pull out the filo for this one as it’s crustless. Perfect for Easter and other celebrations.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Resting Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Dessert, Easter
Cuisine: Greek
Servings: 6 Serves
Calories: 197kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $8

Equipment

  • 1 9×9 in (24cm) Baking Dish round or square, glass dish or baking tin – it's your choice.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk whole milk / full cream
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • cup caster sugar / superfine sugar
  • cup fine semolina flour sub with coarse semolina flour or cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp butter salted – if unsalted, add in a pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla essence or vanilla extract for an extra strong flavour hit

Optional

For the egg wash

Optional

Garnish Ideas

Instructions

  • Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add in your milk, sugar, vanilla essence, butter and optional lemon zest.
    2 cups milk, ⅓ cup caster sugar / superfine sugar, 2 tbsp butter, 1 ½ tsp vanilla essence, 1 lemon zest
  • When the butter starts to melt, give everything a quick stir and pour in your fine semolina flour, whisking continually. You’ll find the mixture will start to thicken in 2-3 minutes. Once thick, take off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
    ⅓ cup fine semolina flour
  • Pre-heat your oven to 180°C.
  • Give your thickened milk a quick whisk. If it has formed a slight skin, just mix it in, this is fine. Very slowly pour in the eggs over three batches, whisking fast as you go.
    2 eggs

For the egg wash

  • Whisk the egg, vanilla essence, sugar and optional cinnamon in a small dish. Lightly brush or pour over the top of the custard pie and place into the oven.
    1 egg, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence, 1 tsp caster sugar / superfine sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked through, and the top is nice and browned. Note: If your oven browns the top very quickly, place aluminium foil over the top. This will stop it burning and allow the rest of the pie to cook all the way through.
  • Allow pie to cool to room temperature before slicing. Best served chilled from the fridge.

Garnish ideas

  • Garnish with anything from icing sugar and cinnamon to fresh mint or honey!
    icing sugar / powdered sugar, fresh mint, cinnamon, honey

Video

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Small Batch Galatopita – Greek Milk Pie without Filo
Amount per Serving
Calories
197
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
9
g
14
%
Saturated Fat
 
5
g
31
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Cholesterol
 
102
mg
34
%
Sodium
 
93
mg
4
%
Potassium
 
174
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
23
g
8
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
16
g
18
%
Protein
 
7
g
14
%
Vitamin A
 
368
IU
7
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
117
mg
12
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Small Batch Galatopita - Greek Milk Pie without Filo

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Kristina
    19/03/2022 at 3:43 pm

    Hello! Do you think this would work if I froze the leftovers? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      19/03/2022 at 4:46 pm

      Hey Kristina! We don’t recommend freezing this one. It’ll be fine for a few days in the fridge though. 🙂

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