Custard-Filled Galaktoboureko From Lefkos Pyrgos
[Fat Pants Fridays was a weekly feature presenting the city's most appealing cakes, puddings, and other treats created by our much-missed former blogger Rebecca Marx, running for two years ending in September, 2011. Here we go again!]
Of the many phyllo-based pastries of Greece, none is richer and more scrumptious than Galaktoboureko. Showing its possible North African inspiration, the custard is eggy in the extreme, and further stiffened with semolina flour, which imparts a light and bouncy texture. The syrup-sluiced top and bottom crust are only a delivery system, and the custard squirts everywhere as you eat the pastry with a fork. Take FiTR's advice--roll up your sleeves and dive in with your hands.
As further evidence of its mixed heritage, the very word galaktoboureko is compounded of the Greek word "ghala" ("milk") and the Turkish word "borek" ("filled"). One of the best versions of the pastry, which is often associated with the island of Crete, is found at Lefkos Pyrgos ("White Tower," referring to a historic fortification in Thessaloniki, Macedonia) , a pastry bakery and coffee shop in Astoria in the shadow of the N train, where you can sit late into the night sipping coffee and eating...galaktobourekos.
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