This is my recipe I learned from my MIL in Greece.
One quart whole milk
3/4 cup semolina
vanilla to taste
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp butter
1 lb phyllo pastry
1/2 lb melted butter
2 C sugar
2 C water
slice of lemon peel
1 tsp lemon juice
splash of brandy
Bring milk to a boiling point. Add the semolina stirring constantly until it thickens like cream of wheat. Beat the eggs, sugar, and vnilla together until thick and creamy. Remove the pan from the heat and stirr in the egg mixture gradually, stirring vigourously to prevent eggs from scrambling.Add 3 tbsp butter and mix.
Allow mixture to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
Butter a rectangular payrex pan. Line the pan with 1/2 of the phyllo, brushing with butter between every sheet of phyllo. Spread the semolina mixture over the phyllo,cover this with the remaining phyllo, buttering each sheet separately. With a sharp knife (electric knife is best) trim the surplus phyllo off the edges and score the top layers of the pastry into triangular servings. Brush the top with butter and bake in 375 oven for 35- 40 minutes until golden brown.
In the meantime, boil the sugar, water lemon juice and lemon peel until syrupy but not tool thick (usually done when the peel is candied). Add a splash of brandy. Pour over the galactoboureko when it is hot out of the oven. When cool, cut serving pieces all the way through to the bottom.
This is best made the same day as serving as the phyllo gets soggy after that.
I did run into problems with the recipe. It was nigh impossible to make cuts in the phyllo, due to the wetness of the center custard. I defaulted to kitchen scissors, but that didn't take care of the bottom. The 9x13 pan in my opinion is way too small. I couldn't get successful browning of the bottom due to wetness and the insulating properties of the pyrex.
re: Jay Francis
This recipe is almost exactly the same as my husband's family's. (Very Greek)
You can simplify making the cuts by putting in freezer briefly to slightly stiffen the dough, then score only the top layer (try not to cut into custard layer, but don't stress too much about it). And if it's really just too frustrating, don't do it at all. You can cut it afterwards, it's harder, but not impossible. I use a round metal pan for ours, about 12". Instead of cutting off excess phyllo, we tuck it under, but either way works. The bottom is not supposed to brown, it's supposed to be rather soft from all the syrup.