Greek dessert recipes can be as simple as Greek Manouri cheese drizzled with honey and chopped walnuts.
A Greek rice pudding recipe is also quick to make and is definitely a Greek comfort food - one that you really don't see too much of anymore.
Unfortunately, a Greek baklava recipe is one of the most tedious Greek dessert recipes that you can make.
However, you can save time and make it a little easier on yourself by using a simple gluten free alternative instead of the layers and layers of filo dough.
Wash the rice and boil the water. Put the rice into the boiling water and then lower the heat to a low-medium heat.
Stir the rice for about 10 minutes. Then add 1 1/2 cups of your milk and stir occasionally for 10 minutes on a low-medium heat. Add in the sugar and stir to dissolve.
Stir in corn starch or arrowroot to the reserved 1 cup of cold milk and then add to hot mixture - mix well.
Then turn up the heat to medium and stir constantly for next 15 minutes to thicken your pudding (do not burn the milk).
Finally, stir in the vanilla and when your pudding has reached your desired consistency - remove from the heat.
Serve the Greek rice pudding cold or warm garnished with cinnamon.
I would probably use a lower glycemic sweetener such as palm sugar or coconut sugar in my Greek dessert recipes. It's light brown in color and tasty.
You could also use raw coconut nectar which is more like a brown syrup - which is a lot easier to use in Greek dessert recipes.
It adds a more luscious texture and does not need to be melted down like sugar crystals.
As you can see, making Baklava is pretty labor intensive. I have only watched 1 friend make this dessert - once.
You can experiment with the various types of nuts for the filling of your Baklava. I kind of prefer walnuts as they will help to balance out the sweetness of this Greek dessert.
Healthier Syrup Ingredients:
Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
In a bowl combine the wet ingredients - beaten eggs, oil, and yogurt.
In another bowl combine the dry ingredients - walnuts, raisins, sugar, dates, and baking powder.
Then combine the wet and dry ingredients together - mix well.
Put the rice paper wrappers in lukewarm water to soften. And use two rice papers per baklava.
Spread about 2 Tbsp. of baklava mixture in the center of the rice papers.
Then fold the sides of the rice paper over the mixture. And make four triangular folds.
Arrange (tightly) in a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 482 degrees F.
Remove baklava from the oven and put on a cooling rack. Add lemon slices on top and pour syrup over the warm baklava - let cool for 3 hrs.
I love the simplicity of this gluten free Baklava recipe and you can make this recipe in a fraction of the time it takes to make the traditional version.
As you can see - baklava is pretty high in sugar. I would probably just drizzle a little honey on mine and forget about making the syrup. And I would also bake my baklava between 350 to 400 degrees F. for a little longer.
Manouri cheese is a Greek cheese that has a creamy texture. It even has a citrus flavor which makes it ideal for a dessert.
Basically, you would cut your cheese into round slices and lay them decoratively on a plate.
Next, you would add some chopped nuts and drizzle with a tasty honey. You could even add some freshly cut fruit around your cheese slices and you've got dessert!
A fancier option is to poach some figs in a sweet red wine sauce and decorate your cheese slices with poached figs and the sweet red wine sauce - Yummy!