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ATK Kids

Scrunch Your Phyllo up into This Crispy, Custardy Dessert

This ruffled milk pie doesn’t care if your phyllo cracks and tears.
By Published June 22, 2022

As someone with a savory tooth, it’s not often that a sweet changes my life. However, a trip to Greece in 2019 introduced me to a dessert that nearly made me cry tears of delicious joy: galaktoboureko.

In galaktoboureko, sweet, creamy custard is sandwiched between layers of crisp phyllo dough before the whole thing gets drowned in a lightly aromatic sugar syrup. It’s . . . transcendent. It’s also a bit of a project, from making a stovetop custard to layering the phyllo to preparing the syrup. 

Thankfully, there’s an easier, more streamlined version of this magical dessert—and it’s known as ruffled milk pie.

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Ruffled milk pie is something of a mashup between galaktoboureko and galatopita (a Greek baked custard pie), and it’s much simpler to make than galaktoboureko. You start by scrunching up butter-brushed phyllo sheets into long strips, and then you place them in a cake pan in a spiral shape. Since the phyllo gets scrunched, it’s OK if it tears or cracks. Then, bake your phyllo spiral until it’s nice and golden brown.

scrunching phyllo dough sheet into loose accordion-shaped stripplacing phyllo strips in cake pan until pan is filled with large spiral shape

As the phyllo bakes, you’ll whisk together the easiest custard. Lightly scented with vanilla and cinnamon, you simply pour it over the baked phyllo and pop it back in the oven—no stovetop cooking or egg tempering needed. In lieu of a complicated sugar syrup, we dust the baked and cooled pie with confectioners’ sugar. Another reason to make this dessert? Other than the phyllo, you probably have all the ingredients on hand. 

Showstopping, easy, and foolproof, this ruffled milk pie was the perfect addition to America’s Test Kitchen Kids award-winning cookbook, The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs. In it, you’ll find even more impressive, kid-friendly desserts, from a Free-Form Summer Fruit Tart to Individual Flourless Chocolate Cakes.

After trying this ruffled milk pie, I think you’ll understand exactly why custard and phyllo are the perfect match.

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