3 c. milk
1/2 c. semolina flour
1/4 t. vanilla paste
2 large eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. butter, room temperature
1 roll (1/2 of a 1 lb pkg) phyllo dough sheets, thawed
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
1 slice lemon peel (1"x 2")
juice of 1/2 a lemon
In a medium sauce pan over med high heat bring milk to a simmer, being careful not to boil. When milk is hot add the flour, cook and stir constantly until mixture thickens. Add vanilla, cook and stir one minute longer. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, combine the eggs and sugar, slowly add a 1/2 cup of the custard to the egg mixture, whisking continually. Add the tempered egg mixture to the pan of custard whisking vigorously to prevent scrambling. Set aside, stirring occasionally to prevent skin from forming.
Place the phyllo dough out flat on a counter, covering to prevent the dough from drying. Double 1 phyllo sheet and place in the bottom of an 8x8 pan that has been treated with baking spray, brush with melted butter, add another folded layer, brush with butter, continue in this manner until half of the phyllo sheets are used. Pour the custard over the phyllo sheets and top with the remaining phyllo sheets in the same manner as before. Brush the final layer liberally with any remaining butter and sprinkle with 2 t. of water.
With a very sharp knife, score the top few layers of the phyllo into 9 pieces taking care not to cut all the way into the custard. Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 50-60 minutes or until flaky and golden brown.
While the pie is baking make a simple syrup by placing the sugar and water into a medium saucepan with the lemon peel. Stir over medium high heat to bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the juice of half a lemon. Set aside to come to room temperature while the pie finishes baking.
Upon removing pie from the oven, immediately ladle the syrup over it. Allow to sit for 45 minutes before cutting through and serving. This pie is best served warm.