Thursday, January 28, 2010

Getting jiggy with it: Coconut Galaktoboureko

I was planning to stop with the obnoxious Greek posts for a little while, but since I just arrived in Athens, Greece yesterday I thought I'd celebrate a little (throwing coconut confetti flakes up whiling typing in Aunt Mary's red bathrobe, oh yes). I'm not sure why or how, but I've been collecting cans of coconut milk in my cupboard for the last few months.  I finally put in end of the shopping spree when I realized, while putting away my canned provisions from the latest grocery excursion, that I'd already had four other cans and why the hell did I just buy more? And what the hell am I gonna do with all this coconut milk besides making pumpkin coconut soup (which is the only thing I've ever made with coconut milk in my life).

I started thinking what recipes called for lots of milk where I could use the coconut milk in lieu of cow juice and one of my favorite one desserts came to mind: Galaktobourkeo, or milk pie (as my dad likes to translate for people) or baklava with custard in the middle instead of nuts. Around this time, my brother was getting married and my parents were hosting the rehearsal dinner, Greek style, of course, so I whipped up my coconut version experiment alongside the traditional galaktoboureko. Instead of using my parent's old school Greek cook books, I altered my favorite Greek Canadian food blogger, Kalofagas's recipe. I was really happy with the results despite accidently using the cream of rice my mom got for my brother's gluten free diet, instead of the the rice flour I had meant to use.  It still turned out quite tasty and I will definitely makes this again!

Coconut Galaktoboureko 
7 eggs
4 cups whole milk
2 cans (13.5 oz each) coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of fine semolina flour (I have been unable to find this yet in LA, so I use rice flour)
2 cups sugar
1 package sweetened coconut flakes
1 Tbsp. butter
1 stick of melted butter (for brushing)
2 cups of sugar
1 cup water
In a large pot, over medium-high heat, add eggs, sugar and rice flour. Mix constantly over medium heat until incorporated. 
Add the milk, vanilla and coconut milk, continuing to stir custard is slightly thick and not runny. Place a tea towel between the pot of custard and the pot's lid, cover and reserve (off the heat).
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Butter a 14" x 11" baking dish. Count how many sheets of phylllo you have in package and divide in half. One half for the bottom, second half for the top. In the bottom pan, layer your one half of phyllo, leaving the edges hanging over the sides of the pan. Brush each sheet generously with melted butter. Pout the custard mixture over the bottom phyllo leaves and sprinkle with half the package of coconut flakes. 
Fold the excess phyllo over and into the pan and continue evenly distributing the remaining sheets of phyllo to entirely cover the custard. Sprinkle top with remaining coconut and butter. 
With a very sharp knife, score the phyllo (just penetrating) to make your desired size and shapes of pieces (this makes it easier to cut later and will also allow syrup to penetrate the pie).
Bake in the middle rack for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Allow Galaktoboureko to cool to room temperature.
To make syrup, add sugar and water and bring to a boil. Allow a mild boil to continue for 10 minutes for syrup to develop. Using a ladle, pour syrup over Galaktoboureko.
Carefully complete the slicing of pieces (tracing initial cuts), allow to cool for approx. 1 hour to set. 

This makes a lot of Galaktoboureko. No one will go hungry. Enjoy!


Peter M said...

Sweetheart, coconut sounds fab in a is crafty!

Thanks for the link-luv, I wish a fabulous time in Greece, carpe diem!

Diana said...

Hope you are enjoying Greece! I've never worked with or even bought coconut milk before! I think it's time. Maybe for some curry! :)

yutjangsah said...

I bought a can of coconut milk at the korean market 2 days ago thinking of making some green curry. Now all I need is another impulse can purchase and I can make this goodie instead. Keep the Greek posts coming.

Anna A. said...

Peter, Thanks again for your recipe!!! Next I want to make your bougatsa =)

Diana, Loving Greece TALF! Yap, coconut curry seems like the most logical choice for coconut milk creations. You should after your soy noodle disaster.

Sook, Lol yeah keep hitting the K market! You're almost there!

Kung Food Panda said...

That dessert looks rather tasty. Have fun out there in Greece Anna!

elly said...

Coconut galaktoboureko sounds really amazing. I will have to try it sometime for sure!

Anna A. said...

Kung Food - Thanks - maybe you'll get to try some at the Great Greek... or I'll make it if you organize a blogger dinner ;))

Elly, Yay! I hope you do make it. I'm thinking of what other galaktoboureko twists are out there... hmmm

Follow Me Foodie said...

What the freaking hell?!?!! What an amazing post!! I wish I was there!!! Thanks for the recipe! I LOVE coconut!!! Have you been in Vancouver? Any good Greek recommendations? Everything you ate can't be found at a restaurant!! At least not in Vancouver that I know of! I'm jealous!