I get pretty excited about pastry, but few things get me as worked up as galaktoboureko — and now I can get it in New Canaan.
Forget baklava, kourambiethes, loukoumades, kataifi and koulorakia, this light, sweet custard encased in layer after layer of buttery phyllo is the pinnacle of Greek dessert.
I make out-of-the-way detours to Astoria anytime I’m in Queens or Brooklyn for galaktoboureko at Artopolis Bakery. I once rented a scooter to ride across the Cycladic island of Naxos for galaktoboureko in Apiranthos. For some reason, however, it has taken me a while to make it up to Kouzina in New Canaan.
Now that I know how good it is, I’ll be going back.
Galaktoboureko is fairly simple to make as long as you are comfortable with phyllo and the warm custard — made from fine semolina or farina — makes for the ultimate comfort food. Take that and add layers of phyllo and a sugar syrup and you’re in business.
Kouzina’s version is very good. The custard is light and the layers of phyllo a decadently buttery and flaky. My only crticisim is that I think it could do with a little orange zest in the custard or used to steep in the sugar syrup. But this is a matter of personal preference, a lot of yia-yias don’t make it that way.
In any case, it’s worth checking out.