Lisa Faulkner’s Greek custard tart

Lisa Faulkner’s Greek custard tart
  • Serves icon Serves 8-10
  • Time icon Hands on time 45 mins, cook time 1 hour 15 mins

In Greece this gorgeous tart is more commonly known as galaktoboureko – layers of filo pastry enclosing a thick custard, then soaked with a lemon-spiked syrup. This recipe by Lisa Faulkner from her cookbook Mother to Mother tastes just like a Greek holiday. It’s a must try recipe!

Or, head over to Portugal to try their version of a custard tart: pasteis de nata.



  • 1 litre milk
  • 3 medium eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g fine semolina
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g filo pastry

For the syrup

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Heat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Brush a 23 x 30cm ovenproof dish or baking tin with melted butter.
  2. Pour the milk into a pan and bring to just below boiling point, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until thoroughly blended. Stir in the semolina. Transfer the mixture to a large heavy pan and pour in the hot milk, stirring constantly. Simmer over a low heat, still stirring, for about 10 minutes until smooth and thick. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla extract and 3–4 tablespoons of the melted butter.
  4. Cut the filo sheets to fit the dish and spread half of them on the base, brushing each with melted butter before laying on the next. Pour in the custard and spread evenly over the filo.
  5. Stack the remaining sheets on top of the custard, brushing each with melted butter before adding another layer. Using a knife, cut 4 strips lengthways into the pastry layers without cutting through the edges. Brush the top of the tart with butter and sprinkle with a little water.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160°C/gas 3 and bake for a further 35 minutes until the top is golden and crisp.
  7. For the syrup, place the sugar and lemon juice into a pan, pour in 125ml water and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil without stirring for 7 minutes, then remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract and leave to stand for 10 minutes to thicken.
  8. Spoon the syrup over the pastry as soon as it is out of the oven. Allow the pastry to cool and absorb the syrup, then cut into 5cm squares or diamonds and serve warm or at room temperature.

delicious. tips

  1. Lisa said: This recipe is from my sister’s friend Maria. It has been in Maria’s family for years – her grandmother used to make it for tea parties and social gatherings, a tradition Maria and her mother continue today.

Recipe By

This recipe is by Lisa Faulkner from her cookbook Mother to Mother (£20; Simon & Schuster).


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  1. Fantastic recipe. Relatively simple to make and absolutely delicious. I ate it warm, room temp, fridge cold and even tried freezing it. All successful. What can I say? I consumed it at every available opportunity and definitely took one for the recipe research team. You’re welcome.

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