Galatopita, also known as galopita, is a Greek milk pie that is often made without a crust. It is composed of a custard that is thickened with eggs and semolina flour, giving it a unique texture and flavor. The galatopita is first cooked on the stovetop. Then it’s poured into a pan and baked until set.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy: This recipe is really easy to make. You’ll need a few minutes to cook the custard on the stovetop. And afterwards, you simply have to wait for it to bake and then chill it.
- Custard with a twist: It is thickened with semolina flour which gives it a distinctive texture.
- No mixer: You just need a whisk, to mix the ingredients together!
- Customizable: I’m using orange zest to flavor the galatopita. But you can easily swap it with lemon zest. You can also skip the egg wash if you want and sprinkle sugar instead. And finally once it’s out of the oven, you can dust it with powdered sugar, cinnamon or drizzle with honey!
- Small batch: This recipe makes a small 17 cm (6.7 inch) milk pie which makes it perfect for a small crowd.
You will need:
- Milk: It’s best to use whole milk, for optimal flavor.
- Semolina flour: Also known as fine semolina (not coarse), to thicken the custard. Some bakers like to use a combination of semolina flour and cornstarch (or flour). But I prefer to use just semolina flour, which gives the custard a pleasant flavor. I also use less thickener than most recipes as I prefer the galatopita softer. If you want it to be firmer, you can add a little bit of cornstarch with the semolina flour. You could also use more semolina flour, but note that this will give the galatopita a grainier feel.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar, to sweeten the milk pie. The pie itself is sweet enough. But if you want the pie to be even sweeter, you can also sprinkle sugar on the pie for that little bit of crunchiness.
- Egg: The egg will thicken the galatopita, along with the semolina flour. It will also add flavor and richness. You can also brush the top of the pie with egg wash, before baking it, for color and shine.
- Butter: Just a little bit of butter, for even more richness, flavor and creaminess.
- Flavorings: We’ll add orange zest and vanilla extract to the milk pie. And just a pinch of salt, to enhance all the flavors.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F, conventional setting).
- Grease a 17 cm (6.7 inch) springform pan (or baking dish) then coat with semolina flour. You can invert the pan over the sink then gently tap off the excess.
Tip: Coating the pan with semolina flour will prevent sticking. And it will give the cake a nice thin crust.
Cook the galatopita on the stovetop
- Place the sugar in a medium-sized pan and pour the milk over it, without stirring. The sugar will form a protective layer at the bottom of the pan so the milk doesn’t burn and stick. Bring to a boil on medium heat.
- In the meantime, whisk together the egg, semolina flour, vanilla extract, orange zest and salt in a bowl.
- As soon as the milk starts to boil, remove it from the heat. The milk shouldn’t be too hot. Very slowly pour it over the egg mixture, stirring constantly. You can use a ladle if you want. Tip: Don’t pour the milk all at once so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs! Don’t worry if you see undissolved sugar in the pot. It will melt in the next step.
Tempering: By gradually pouring hot milk over the eggs, you are slowly raising the temperature of the eggs. This will also shorten the time needed to cook the custard.
- Return everything to the pot and heat (on medium) until thickened, stirring constantly. This will take about 2-3 minutes. It’s ready when: 1) You can see the trail left by the whisk. 2) The foam has subsided. 3) There are a few bubbles popping on the surface. Don’t overcook the custard or your galatopita will become rubbery.
- Remove from the heat and add the cold butter.
The cold butter will cool down the custard faster and thicken it slightly. This will make it easier to apply the egg wash later on. If the custard is too runny, the egg wash will sink.
- Mix until completely smooth. You can strain the custard at this point if you prefer to get rid of the orange zest and get a smoother texture. I personally don’t bother.
- Pour into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface, if needed.
- Set aside to cool down slightly while you prepare the egg wash.
Brush with egg wash
- For the egg wash (optional): In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk and milk. Then mix in the sugar.
- Pour the egg wash evenly over the galatopita. You can use the back of a spoon (or a pastry brush) if you want to spread it. If you want to skip the egg wash, simply sprinkle the surface with granulated sugar.
Tip: Try pouring 1/2 teaspoon of egg wash first. If it sinks, wait for the galatopita to cool down a bit more. If the galatopita remains runny, it might be slightly undercooked. Simply skip the egg wash and sprinkle sugar on the surface. Bake a few minutes longer than stated in the recipe, if needed.
Bake the galatopita
- Bake in the middle of the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until puffy and set. A toothpick inserted into the center of the pie should come out clean.
- Remove from the oven. Cool down on a wire rack (in the pan), for about an hour. Then cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or until cold and firm.
- To serve: Serve as is or top with cinnamon and honey. If you’d like a little bit of crunchiness, you can sprinkle granulated sugar instead of honey. Tip: If you notice wet spots on the pie after chilling it, simply pat them dry with a paper towel.
And that’s it! Hope you enjoy!