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Desserts

Muhallebi (ground rice pudding)

Muhallebi (ground rice pudding)
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Golden baked pastries drizzled with syrup served with rich clotted cream, crumbly homemade halvah with roasted pine nuts, baklava with a cheese filling served hot, custards sprinkled with rose water and ground nuts, strings of walnuts coated in grape molasses. ... Read more

Total time: 35 minutes, plus cooling time | Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 rounded tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon orange flower water
  • 1 teaspoon almond oil
  • 1/4 cup clotted cream

Step 1In a small bowl, whisk the rice flour with about one-half cup of the milk. In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, bring the rest of the milk to a boil. Stir in the ground rice mixture, sugar and orange flower water. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring constantly (be sure to continually scrape the bottom and sides of the pan to keep the mixture from burning).

Step 2Grease the insides of 4 small (4-ounce) bowls with the almond oil. Divide the rice pudding mixture between the bowls, then place the bowls in the refrigerator. Refrigerate the puddings until chilled and set up.

Step 3To unmold, place the bowls in warm water for a few minutes to loosen the edges. Turn out onto small plates. Serve each pudding with a small dollop of clotted cream.

Note: Based on Turabi Efendi's recipe dated 1864. Orange flower water is available at select well-stocked and gourmet markets, as well as cooking supply stores and online. Clotted cream is available in the dairy section of select gourmet markets; whipped cream can be substituted.

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