Chefs' Recipes

Jonathan Barthelmess's strawberry galaktoboureko

Jonathan Barthelmess shares his recipe for a fruity version of this flaky Greek dessert.

By Jonathan Barthelmess
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking (plus cooling, chilling)
  • Serves 8
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"We want to support Australian strawberry farmers, so we've included strawberries in one of our classic Greek desserts," says Jonathan Barthelmess of Greca and The Apollo.

Ingredients

  • 500 gm strawberries, hulled
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 40 gm butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean
  • 50 gm semolina
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 150 gm ghee, melted
  • 375 gm fillo pastry (see note)
  • Pure icing sugar, for dusting

Method

  • 1
    Preheat oven to 90°C. Place half the strawberries, standing up cut-side down, on an oven tray lined with baking paper, and bake until soft (18-20 minutes). Remove from oven and cool.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, cut remaining strawberries into quarters and stir in a saucepan over high heat to warm through (1 minute). Refrigerate to chill (15 minutes).
  • 3
    Combine milk, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat and stir constantly until thick and custard coats the back of a spoon (15 minutes). Increase heat to medium and rain in semolina, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth (10 minutes). Stir in lemon zest and keep warm.
  • 4
    Increase oven to 180°C. Brush a 32cm x 22cm x 4cm baking tray with ghee. Line base with a sheet of fillo, brush with ghee and top with another sheet. Repeat to make 10 layers. Spread quartered strawberries evenly over fillo, then spoon over warm custard. Top with a sheet of fillo, brush with ghee, and repeat to make another 10 layers as before. Trim any overhang, and fold and pinch edges of pastry to seal in custard. Brush with ghee, prick holes all over the top with a skewer and bake until golden and flaky (20-25 minutes). Cool to room temperature (1 hour).
  • 5
    Place a chopping board on top of tray and invert galaktoboureko onto it, removing tray. Cut into squares with a serrated knife, top with baked whole strawberries and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Notes

At Greca, they use Antoniou brand fillo, which is available in 375gm packets from select supermarkets.Drink suggestion: A muscat, such as the Kourtakis Muscat of Samos. Drink suggestion by Sam Christie.