Dreamy mouhalabiyeh, a creamy and aromatic pudding flavored with orange blossom, rose, pistachios, and honey. This was one of my favorite desserts as a child and it always brings back festive memories. Such as many Levantine sweets native to Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey, this custard-like pudding is characterized by the combination of dairy and orange and rose extracts. The pistachios are another component of the recipe rather than simply a topping. And the final result is absolutely lush. I find that this is a great dessert to make ahead of a dinner party – and one sure to make an impression.
INGREDIENTS/ SERVES 4
4 cups milk
1/3 cup fresh cream (heavy whipping cream) or more milk
1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon rose water
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
honey, for topping
pistachios, chopped, for topping
Simmer 4 cups of milk and sugar in a large pot over medium-high heat and whisk until sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Bring to a simmer while keeping an eye on the heat. Mix together 1/3 cup cream and cornstarch to make a paste. Whisk the paste into the boiling milk mixture and reduce the heat. Continue to whisk constantly over a medium-low heat until the pudding is thick and custard like in texture.
Serve into small bowls. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours – the pudding will thicken as it chills. Top with pistachios and honey.
Other topping options:
Cinnamon, desiccated coconut, freshly squeezed orange juice, lemon juice, dried fruit, rose petal jam, apricot jam.