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
Test Kitchen Notes
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
one 11x13 pan
heavy (whipping) cream
1 1/2 cups
organic cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons
pure vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
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.
Combine syrup ingredients and boil gently. Let syrup cool before pouring on top of hot pastry.