Author Notes: I'm not Greek, but I've loved Greek food for a long time. This traditional Greek dessert is the best expression of farina I can think of. It combines the crispness of Phyllo with the soothing sweet comfort of custard. When I saw this contest, I knew I had to share this recipe. - ChefJune
Food52 Review: Never having tried this phyllo-encrusted Greek dessert, I loved the subtle and silky custard inside. As a fan of cream of wheat, I definitely enjoyed the taste of farina, though in a whole new way. - Allison Bruns Buford
Makes one 11x13 pan
- 2 quarts whole milk
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup farina
- 9 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
- 1 pound unsalted butter
- 13 sheets Phyllo
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large saucepan, combine milk, cream, sugar, and 1 stick of butter. Heat until butter melts, then add farina and cook over a low flame until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set side.
- Beat eggs; stir into the farina mixture. Then, using a hand mixer, beat for about 5 minutes. (With a KitchenAid you will only need about 3 minutes.) Stir in vanilla.
- Melt butter. With a pastry brush, oil your baking pan with a little of the butter.
- Place 8 sheets of phyllo in your pan, one at a time, brushing each one with butter before laying down the next. Pour slightly cooled custard mixture over these sheets. Cover with 5 more phyllo sheets, buttering between each one. Fold in edges so filling will not overflow.
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and, while still hot, pour cooled syrup over top.
- 2 cups organic cane sugar
- A few drops of fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups water
- Combine syrup ingredients and boil gently. Let syrup cool before pouring on top of hot pastry.