Desserts, Vegetarian

Greek Custard Pie – Galatopita

Greek Custard Pie Galatopita without phyllo

While Greek cuisine and diet is characterized by mainly vegetarian dishes as well as vegan desserts made with olive oil, in times of celebration they really go all out. Case in point: galatopita or galopita which basically translates to milk pie. It is a baked custard cake or pie, but our version has no crust.

When Greeks were not fasting from animal products, there were periods in between where they enjoyed more “luxurious” foods such as eggs and butter and the desserts reflected this.

This cake is a family favorite, my mother will make it for Easter and for the 15th of August. I will say that this cake/pie is rather simple and light. There is no crust which makes things a lot easier (also reduces calories). It is not really rich in calories, just a few eggs, a bit of sugar and I used low-fat milk. The result is a dessert with few carbs and fat and rich in protein.

Greek Custard Pie - Galatopita

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Category: dessert

Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean

Greek Custard Pie - Galatopita


  • 4 cups of milk (I used 2%)
  • 10 tablespoons semolina
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • cinnamon and powdered sugar for serving


  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius)
  2. Prepare a round 9 inch pie dish or pan by greasing it and sprinkling some semolina flour.
  3. In a bowl mix the semolina flour, sugar, 1 cup cold milk, 3 eggs, vanilla and zest until smooth.
  4. Heat the rest of the milk and add to flour mixture and mix. Transfer to a heavy pot.
  5. Place pot under low heat and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens (about 10 minutes). Be careful not to let the custard burn.
  6. Once the mixture starts to bubble, continue heating and mixing for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. Mix until butter melts.
  8. Let the custard cool for about 5 minutes.
  9. Pour mixture in the pan or pie dish.
  10. In a small bowl beat the other egg and brush on top of pie.
  11. Bake for about 45 minutes until surface starts to brown.
  12. Remove from oven and let the pie cool completely.
  13. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon and powdered sugar.

Photo by Elena Paravantes© All Rights Reserved

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  • Reply Penelope Cumas January 28, 2017 at 5:02 am

    I loved the galatopita when I was a child, but now am lactose and gluten intolerant. I could substitute almond milk (or a combination of almond &a coconut milk) for the 2% milk, but what could I use as a substitute for,the semolina?

    I just can’t wait to try this.

    • Reply Elena January 28, 2017 at 9:44 am

      Hi Penelope,

      Yes, you can use rice flour, in fact in some traditional Greek cookbooks they suggest rice flour.

  • Reply Anna January 28, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Hello! Besides semolina and rice flour, are there any other substitutes? Thanks!

    • Reply Elena January 29, 2017 at 7:49 am

      Hi Anna, Maybe you can try tapioca flour to get a similar effect.

  • Reply Maria February 24, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Hi is this sliceable and eaten cold ?

    • Reply Elena February 24, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      Yes, you let it cool completely and slice it.

  • Reply Tiffany Papazafiropoulos September 8, 2018 at 3:11 am

    Amazing Galatopita!!
    I just made it and it is delicious

    I had tried another galatopita with syrup and it was too sweet

    This was Absolutely the Best and am keeping the recepie

    I used Organic Valley Lactose Free and it didn’t bother me at all!

  • Reply 25 Delicious Mediterranean Christmas Brunch Recipes | Olive Tomato December 21, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    […] 22. Galatopita- Greek Custard Pie […]

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