Greek Fridge Sweet/Cake - Glyko Tou Psygeiou

Recipe By William Dachris

This is a recipe we shared with Christine Polyzos from Kali Orexi in Melbourne for her campaing "Meri Month of May".

"Fridge cake is one of those sweets that take me back to my careless countryside childhood in Greece every single time I have a piece, and if only I could stop at one piece! It's refreshing, deliciously sweet and so moreish that once you try it, you just want more and more. It's an easy to make cake that all households would make numerous times and have in the fridge from Spring all the way to Autumn. And the best thing is that you can make so much of it (a big tapsi/tray if you like) and keep it in the fridge even up to 2 weeks, as it tastes better by the day. Despite all my efforts to unveil the history of the dessert, my mum, aunties and any relatives that I have asked about it, they all came back with the same answer; it was passed down or across the family from a great auntie or a cousin and so on. I've, also, come across other versions of it, sometimes called Summer Cake, which use fruit gel instead of cream or custard.

Happy "baking" :-)" 

Syrup ingredients

500ml water
260g sugar
30-60ml Mastiha liqueur or Metaxa 12 Stars – depending on how strong you
want the alcohol to taste
125g Greek Wild Forest Honey or Strawberry Tree Honey

Custard ingredients

  • 1 litre whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 125g white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1-2 packets French toast (classic wheat thin rusks)  – as much as you need to layer the entire
  • baking dish
  • 300ml heavy whipping cream
  • 400ml condensed milk
  • 1-2 packets Pappadopoulou tea biscuits; or as much as you need to layer the entire baking dish
  • 1 large rectangular deep pan/tray approximately 32cm L x 26cm W x 6-7cm D

Greek fridge cake

Preparing the Glyko Tou Psygeiou

  • Boil the syrup ingredients in a small pot – until it starts boiling for a few minutes.
  • Lay the French toast at the bottom of the tray/pan and then pour the hot syrup on top of them in 2-3 stages, allowing the rusks to slowly absorb the syrup. You may have a bit of syrup left over.
  • For the custard, add the milk, vanilla extract and butter in a deep pot.
  • Cook and stir over medium heat until simmering. Remove from the heat before it boils.
  • Whisk the remaining custard ingredients – eggs, sugar and cornstarch –together in a bowl until all the sugar has dissolved.
  • Place the pot back over low heat. Slowly pour in the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Continue to heat until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.
  • Allow to cool down for 10 minutes or so.
  • Spread the custard evenly on top of the toast.
  • Add an entire layer of the Pappadopoulou tea biscuits.
  • In a large bowl, beat the whipping cream with the condensed milk with a hand-held mixer, until it thickens -  As thick as it can take, it needs to be thick enough to hold its shape as a thick layer. 
  • Spread the cream mixture evenly on top of the biscuits.
  • Put the sweet in the fridge to cool and set completely, ideally overnight.
  • Serve with sour cherry spoon sweet on top or baklava pieces.

Kali Orexi!

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