Mastic Scented Galaktoboureko with Kataifi Phylo


I made this sweet when we came back from the hospital. I just wanted something sweet to elevate my mood. And this one did exactly that!

Galaktoboureko is basically a sweet that consists of cream made with semolina and phylo, all of them swimming in syrup. I decided to tweak the all-time classic Greek recipe and I infused Mastic liquor in the cream and syrup and I used Kataifi phylo instead of the common phylo.

Well, the result was a very flavorful cream and the Kataifi phylo made it far more interesting than the usual one.

I am not sure if you can find Mastic where you live, but if you can, please use it. You cannot believe the aroma these tears extract once they are infused in the sweet.

Here is some information I found in Wikipedia regarding Mastic:

Mastic (Greek: Μαστίχα) is a resin obtained from the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus). In pharmacies and Nature shops it is called “Arabic gum” (not to be confused with gum Arabic) and “Yemen gum”. In Greece it is known as the “tears of Chios,” being traditionally produced on that Greek island, and, like other natural resins is produced in “tears” or droplets. Originally liquid, it is sun-dried into drops of hard brittle translucent resin. When chewed, the resin softens and becomes a bright white and opaque gum. The flavor is bitter at first, but after chewing releases a refreshing, slightly piney or cedar flavor.


The word mastic derives from the Greek verb μαστιχειν “to gnash the teeth”, which is the source of the English word masticate. [1] The word mastic is a synonym for gum in many languages.

Mastic has been used as a medicine since antiquity and is still used in traditional folk medicine of the Middle East. In Ancient Greece, it was given as a remedy for snakebite, and in India and Persia was used to fill dental cavities. The first century Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides mentions the healing properties of mastic in his book De Materia Medica. Hippocrates wrote that the mastic is good for prevention of digestive problems and colds and Galenus suggested mastic was useful for bronchitis and improving the condition of the blood. For more everyday applications, mastic was highly valued in medieval times by sultans’ harems, as a breath freshener and tooth whitener.

Mastic contains antioxidants, and also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.[3] A Nottingham University study published in the New England Journal of Medicine claims that mastic can cure peptic ulcers by killing Helicobacter pylori bacteria.[4] Other studies have indicated mastic has only a modest ability to eliminate H. pylori, but also suggested that refining mastic by removing the polymer poly-β-myrcene may make the active components, in particular isomasticadienolic acid more available and effective.[5] Mastic may also have some value in preventing tooth decay[6] and gingevitis[7] as chewing mastic reduces oral bacteria levels.


Regular consumption of mastic has been proven to absorb cholesterol, thus easing high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks.[8] Mastic oil is widely used in the preparation of ointments for skin disorders and afflictions.[citation needed] It is also used in the manufacture of adhesive bandages

Simply amazing!

So here is the recipe. I found it on the kataifi phylo package, but as always I’ve made some changes necessary to fit my taste!


Mastic Scented Galaktoboureko with Kataifi Phylo


1 package kataifi phylo about 400gr. to 500 gr./ 14 oz. to 17 oz.

1 cup melted margarine for the kataifi phylo (the original recipe used butter but for cholesterol reasons I use margarine. Feel free to use butter if you have no such problem)

1 cup fine semolina

1 cup sugar

1 lit/34 fl oz. and 1 cup milk

4 tbsp margarine (again you can use butter)

4 egg yolks

2 shots of mastic liquor or 3 gr. of mastic drops crushed in the blender

1 tsp vanilla extract


For the syrup

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 cinnamon stick

1 shot mastic liquor



In a pot pour the milk and the sugar and stir. When the sugar is dissolved throw the semolina and continue to stir.

Throw the egg yolks, the margarine, the vanilla extract and the one shot of mastic liquor. Continue to stir until the cream thickens.

Put aside to cool. Just before you spread it on top of the kataifi phylo, pour the second mastic liquor shot and stir to combine.

Open the kataifi package and start to separate the kataifi hair so as to become fluffy.


Take a quadrate pan 40cm X 30cm / 16 inches X 12 inches and brush it with margarine. Spread half of the kataifi phylo. Pour ½ cup of margarine and brush the kataifi phylo.

Spread the cream evenly.

Spread the rest of the kataifi phylo on top, pour the rest of the margarine and spread it evenly.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180° C/350° F for about 45 minutes or until it is golden brown on top.

Take out of the oven and let it cool.


For the syrup

In a pot put the water and the sugar.

In medium high heat let it boil for 7 to 8 minutes and then remove it from fire.


Pour the mastic liquor and with a ladle pour it evenly on top of the Galaktoboureko.

It is ready to be served!


I am sending this to Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen!

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  95. artemis says:

    I am so impressed with this recipe and the detail in the blog post! I love all things Mastiha but have yet to try it in this dessert. Can’t wait! I wanted to let you all know that if you are in the USA or Canada, as I saw some of you are, you can order Mastiha online at Or, if you are in New York you can come by North America’s only mastihashop! It’s the official shop of the Cooperative of Chios Mastiha Growers :)

  96. 49
  97. This is beautiful and it sounds delicious! I can only imagine how good it was with the layers of crispy filo!

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  99. recipeland says:

    Thanks for your comment on the leftover mashed potato supreme on my site :) Through the link I am here, and your recipes and step-by step photos all look great. This pastry recipe definitely drew my attention, it looks and sounds delicious, but I don’t know if I can find this kind of phyllo. But for sure I will pay attention to it, and if I do find one, will definitely give your recipe a try. Thanks for the inspiration!

  100. 51
  101. ping says:

    I’ve always wondered how they made those stringy things. Now I know. I don’t believe I’ve seen kataifi phyllo here … we just have them in sheets. This is so beautifully made! Thanks for the visit to my blog :)

  102. 52
  103. Miz Helen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your great recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great Spring week end and come back to see me real soon!
    Miz Helen

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  105. What a beautifully decadent but unique recipe – I would love to make this 😀

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  107. Sanjeeta kk says:

    Thanks for dropping by..would love to explore recipes at your space! This one with phylo looks very new and yum.

  108. 55
  109. Jade @ Maids says:

    just looking at it makes me feel hungry!
    really looks good! thumbs up ya! hihiih

  110. 56
  111. pavithra says:

    I love kaitifi phyllo I am gonna make this for sure.. Thanks for sharing. Bookmarked.


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  113. Pam says:

    It looks delicious and I have to check it out at one of the Greek restaurants or bakeries here. And the health benefits of mastic are a bonus. I’m sure you were a very happy lady after eating this!

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  115. I hav never heard of mastic before….needless to say this is a wonderful dessert :-)

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  117. I am proud to say I can pronounce Galaktoboureko and order it whenever the Holy Mother of God Greek church has their good festival. LOVE love love these gooey bad boys! Delicious post, Katerina :-)

  118. 60
  119. Barbara says:

    I’ve never seen that kind of phylo here, but this dish looks fabulous. Great photos, Katerina.

  120. 61
  121. I’m really new to Greek food or I should say I only know very common dishes. I’ve never seen or heard of this beautiful dessert! I’m glad you share the recipe. Love the first photo!

  122. 62
  123. Jade @ Maids says:

    hahha i knew it will be good. already tried this.
    thumbs up :0 thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe of yours.

  124. 63
  125. kyleen says:

    I’ve never heard of mastic before, but it sounds so intriguing. This looks delicious!

  126. 64
  127. sally says:

    Kataifi phylo looks like a fun ingredient for a dessert! Thanks for sharing!

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  129. Margarita says:

    Oh my heavens! My ignorance in food is showing once again as I have never in my life seen anything like this! Never heard of Mastik, kataifi phyllo/hair either… all I know is I want this… It looks so dreamy.

  130. 66
  131. oh wow, this dessert looks so exotic & diiferent, never had anything like it before.. very curious to try mastic

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  133. gloria says:

    wow this look amazing!!!

  134. 68
  135. Truly an inspiring Greek yummy dessert. I’ve never heard of it or have tried anything like this. Love the crunchiness, and the delicious and rich cream filling!

  136. 69
  137. Not familiar with Mastic, it’s very interesting! The pastry looks fabulous, I love that phyllo!

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  139. Nadji says:

    Un gâteau qui semble bien délicieux. I like.
    A bientôt

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  141. Kathy says:

    Katerina, I am of Lebanese descent and am very familiar with this dessert! Yours looks so beautiful! I have mastic in my kitchen right now and I even have the kataifi filo in my freezer! I see one of these in my future! Thanks for sharing!

  142. 72
  143. Cucina49 says:

    I am not familiar with mastic, but it sounds like it has wonderful properties! These sweets look just delicious–I hope it had the desired effect of elevating your mood!

  144. 73
  145. keep safe always dear its really hard to have a kind of sick like that,
    we will miss your blog. me too ireally want sweets thumbs up for the post.

  146. 74
  147. Catherine says:

    A simple beautiful dessert. Blessings, Catherine

  148. 75
  149. bergamot says:

    This look like a wonderful dessert. I had something similar recently in Dubai and this reminded me of that (I think it knepfh or something). Crunchy layer with a smooth gooey cheese. Simply out of this world. Would love to try your version.

  150. 76
  151. Jeannie says:

    Ahh yes, I still have some of that wonderful mastic that you sent me! Wonderful in the sweet bread…been using it to bake a few time already:D

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  154. Simply Life says:

    looks like the perfect sweet treat to enjoy!

  155. 79
  156. Liz says:

    Wow, this is one gorgeous dessert! And it sounds as delicious as it is beautiful…wonderfully done!

  157. 80
  158. Mary says:

    I’ve never heard of this kind of phyllo before and I’ve never heard of mastic. I’d love to try this. It sounds good to me and it looks cool too!

  159. 81
  160. Claire says:

    So interesting about the health benefits of Mastic. The dessert is so beautiful!

  161. 82
  162. Teena says:

    This is really new to me & really interesting recipe!! Can’t wait to try!!!

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  164. This would elevate my mood too!

  165. 84
  166. Faith says:

    I’m glad to hear that this beautiful dessert brightened your spirits — I can definitely see why it did! In the Middle East, there’s something similar to this called knafeh that I love…next time I think I’ll try this recipe!

  167. 85
  168. Marion says:

    Κατερίνα μου πολύ ωραίο το γαλακτομπούρεκό σου.
    Με φύλλο καταϊφι δεν το έχω δοκιμάσει. Γενικά το φύλλο καταίφι μου αρέσει πολύ.
    Η ιδέα σου να το κάνεις έτσι μου αρέσει όπως κι ότι έβαλες και μαστίχα.
    Πολύ αρωματικό.


  169. 86
  170. aarthi says:

    This is such a wonderful recipe..Thanks for posting it..Bookmarked..


  171. 87
  172. Joanne says:

    This is DEFINITELY bookmarked to someday impress the Greek boy I’m dating! Looks amazing!

  173. 88
  174. Ola says:

    This is the essence of Greek sweets!:)
    ps. this year we are planning to visit Chios
    Life and travelling

  175. 89
  176. Πολύ διαφορετικό γαλακτομπούρεκο Κατερίνα μου! Μ’αρέσει πολύ που χρησιμοποίησες το συγκεκριμένο φύλλο, ενώ και το λικέρ μαστίχα του δίνει πολύ ιδιαίτερο άρωμα! Φιλιά πολλά να έχεις μια όμορφη μέρα εύχομαι!

  177. 90
  178. Its caught my attention , so interesting post. i really want to try this
    the flavor is nice ! really nice hihi.
    good health and stay safe always dear..

  179. 91
  180. Its caught my attention , so interesting post. i really want to try this
    the flavor is nice ! really nice hihi.
    good health and stay safe always dear.

  181. 92
  182. Ambreen says:

    This sounds so unique & interesting. Looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  183. 93
  184. Susan says:

    Gorgeous, Katerina!

    I love Galaktoboureko and always order it at Greek restaurants, but I’ve never had it with this type of pastry. I’ll bet it’s just wonderful!

  185. 94
  186. Marina says:

    I am going to mediterranean restaurant tomorrow to get some of this. I need something comforting!

  187. 95
  188. Kristen says:

    I am so glad you shared this with us. What might be a common treat for you is exotic and dazzling for me!

  189. 96
  190. Tina@flourtrader says:

    Mastic is a rarity around here and there are very few recipes out there. I think I saw a cupcake recipe before with it. I am intrigued by the flavor description of it.
    Your sweet dessert here has some heavenly texture to it, love the kataifi phyllo! Wish we had that style around here, I know I could never make that from scratch.
    I hope your son is better and has adjusting to the new school. Have a great day.

  191. 97
  192. ΕΛΕΝΗ says:

    Κατερίνα μου υπέροχο!!!Το έχεις αρωματίσει καταπληκτικά!!!Φιλιά!

  193. 98
  194. I have never seen or had this…looks so very tempting!

  195. 99
  196. Corina says:

    I’ve never tried mastic before and don’t know if I can get it here easily or not, but I love these type of pastries.

  197. 100
  198. Rita says:

    I can hardly believe you made this; we have a Greek bakery we go to when we visit Toronto; one of my favourite things. now have to find me some mastic. Always learn something new when I visit you.
    Hope your son has recovered and doing well.
    A hug from me; he has had his share of Stuff.

  199. 101
  200. Oh wow this looks so fantastic. i actually discovered mastic last year and made some ice cream. Loved it. I was at a loss for other uses, this is a fabulous idea I will steal 😉

  201. 102
  202. Kiri W. says:

    Mmm, this looks amazing – I love galatkoboureko, I must have eaten a pound when I was in Greece 😉 The kataifi looks wonderful!

  203. 103
  204. I haven’t heard nor seen this before but the health benefits of mastic make me want to try this.
    Wishing you and your family well. Hope your son has fully recovered by now.

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