As wonderful as the meals in Athens are, the sweets that wrap up that feast are just as spectacular. Aglaia Kremezi, author of "The Cooking of the Greek Islands," was invited on “Today” to share some sweet Greek sensations. Here are the recipes:
Galatopita (Milk Pie)Aglaia Kremezi
For a deep 9-inch pie dish
In a sauce pan, preferably non-stick, pour the milk and then rinse the measuring cup with the warm water, as sweetened milk is very sticky and thick. Add semolina and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil, stirring, over medium-high heat. Continue to stir for about 10-12 minutes, until custard thickens. Remove from the heat, and stir in egg yolks, one at a time. Cover the surface with parchment paper or cling film, and let cool to room temperature.
(Up to this point custard may be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 1 day).
Preheat oven to 380F with a baking dish or pizza stones at the bottom rack.
Pour oil in a bowl together with the lemon zest. Lightly brush bottom and sides of pie dish with oil. Lay one phylo sheet as leaving at least a 2-inch overhanging, brush with oil, sprinkle with some almonds and continue with the rest of the sheets, making sure that you brush every second sheet with oil and sprinkle with almonds.
Spread custard over phylo and even the surface with a spatula. Cut surplus overhanging leaving about 2 inches all around, and fold over the filling.
Mix egg yolk and milk and pour over the custard, brushing the top of the phylo as well.
Place the pie dish on the heated baking sheet or stones and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for another 35-40 minutes or more, until top is golden brown. If it browns too soon, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Cool on a rack and serve just warm, or at room temperature.
91229696049131438sweetened condensed milk1cup1 cup sweetened condensed milkwarm water2.5cup2 1/2 cups warm waterfine semolina flour0.3333333333333333cup1/3 cup fine semolina flourcinnamon stick11 three-inch cinnamon stickegg yolks22 egg yolkslight olive oil, or safflower oil0.3333333333333333cupAbout 1/3 cup light olive oil, or safflower oilpiece of lemon zest1One 3-inch piece of lemon zestphylo sheets66 phylo sheets, defrosted according to package instructionsground almonds0.3333333333333333cup1/3 cup ground almondsegg yolk11 egg yolkmilk2tablespoon2 tablespoons milk
Tangerine-Scented Almond Cookies (Flour-less)Aglaia Kremezi
Makes about 50 cookies
Peel the tangerines and place the peels in a small saucepan; reserve the tangerines. Add cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Drain the peels, add fresh cold water to cover and bring to a boil again. Drain, rinse under plenty of cold running water and drain again. Dry completely with paper towels.
Combine the almonds and tangerine peels in a food processor and process until finely ground. Strain the juices of the reserved tangerines through a sieve set over a bowl, pressing against the fruit to release all the juices.
In a large saucepan, combine the almond mixture, sugar and 2/3 cup of the tangerine juice and simmer, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved, about 7 minutes. Let cool.
Shape tablespoon-sized portions of the mixture into 1 1/2-inch-high pear shapes, wetting your fingers with the remaining tangerine juice. Arrange on a tray while you shape all the mixture.
Dredge each cookie in confectioners’ or granulated sugar to coat. Wrap individually in cellophane or place in a box with a lid.
Let stand for at least 3 days before serving.
912296931438organic tangerines44 organic tangerinesblanched almonds1pound1 pound blanched almondssugar2cup2 cups sugarConfectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar
Recipes excerpted "From The Foods of the Greek Islands" by Aglaia Kremezi.