These luscious custard pastries are a much loved sweet snack and most Greek pastry shops make them. In the recipe below it is made in a large tray and sliced. Alternatively, you can make individual filo parcels using the same method. Simply butter several layers of filo pastry and wrap around the custard, forming small rolls. Bake and cover with syrup.
For the syrup
- 600 ml water
- 750 g sugar
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
For the custard
- 6 small eggs
- 250 g sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 250 g fine semolina or rice flour
- 1 litre full cream milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 400 g filo pastry (ready-made is fine)
- 250 g unsalted butter, melted
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the syrup, place the water, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a saucepan over low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar, then gently bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Leave to cool.
To make the custard, beat eggs and sugar together until thick. Stir in lemon juice, semolina and milk. Transfer to a heavy-based saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir constantly, when mixture is thick, remove from heat and stir through the butter. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Oil a medium sized rectangular baking dish and layer half the sheets of pastry in it one by one, brushing each with melted butter. Make sure the pastry covers the sides of the dish.
Pour on the custard, then layer over and butter the other half of the filo pastry.
Mark slices in squares of 5 cm by cutting through the top layer of pastry. Sprinkle with water and bake for 45 minutes.
When cool, pour syrup over and cut into slices.