This is my refined take on a classic Greek Milk Pie. I created it when I was in Greece at my family home on Kefalonia, where we have apricot trees in the garden. Enjoy!
• 16 7x7cm filo pastry sheets; six 6×6; six 5×5; and six 4×4
• 3 tbsp melted butter
• 3 fresh and ripe apricots, cut in half, cut into wedges about 1cm thick
For the cream filling:
• 300ml milk
• 130g sugar
• 60g fine semolina
• 2 whole eggs
• 1 tbsp butter
• 1/5 vanilla pod (seeded scraped) or two drops of vanilla essence
For the lavender syrup:
• 50 ml water
• 50 g sugar
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 2 sprigs of lavender
• Preheat your oven to 180°C
• Butter each piece of filo pastry and stack each same-sized piece together so you have six piles, all different sizes.
• Place the filo piles onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 15 minutes until golden.
• Meanwhile make the lavender syrup by adding all of the ingredients into a pan and bringing to a boil, before taking off the heat. Remove the sprigs of lavender.
• Over a wire rack, pour the hot syrup over the hot cooked filo pastry and leave to cool until the pastry dries out and becomes crispy.
• Bring the milk to the boil and add the semolina, whisk constantly until it boils and thickens.
• In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla. Take the milk mix off the heat and allow to cool slightly. When still warm, but not scorching, slowly start adding the milk mixtures to your bowl whilst whisking constantly. Add the butter and mix until it’s all emulsified.
• Leave the mixture to cool down but mix it every five minutes so it will not have a crust on top, then cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for around an hour to set completely.
• When set, remove from the fridge and whisk for a minute before transferring to a piping bag.
• To serve, place the biggest piece of filo onto a serving dish. Pipe on a circle of cream, leaving space around the edge. Repeat until you’ve finished up all of the filo and you have a tower shape. Place the wedges of apricot into the layers of filo and cream. Serve immediately.