A creamy milk jelly, which is basically a fragrant blancmange, from the Middle East. The recipe is adapted from one in a Claudia Roden book. I made it with orange blossom water and pistachios, with about 3/4 cup sugar, and it was lovely - even my dessert-resistant husband loved it, and it's a good way of getting more calcium into children! Next time, however, I will reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup. Note that 2 hours of the preparation time are chill time - it only takes 15 minutes to make the dish. Posted for the North African and Middle Eastern Tag game :-)
- Mix the cornflour with a little of the milk, to make a smooth paste, then (in a large heavy-bottomed pan) mix the paste with the rest of the milk and the sugar.
- Stirring constantly and vigorously, bring the mixture to the boil slowly.
- Lower the heat to as low as it will go, then simmer until the mixture thickens. Make sure you keep stirring thoroughly the whole time, or else the mixture will go lumpy and will stick and burn!
- Test the thickness of the mixture. Drop a small blob onto a cold plate - if it holds its shape instead of spreading, then it is ready. Until then, keep heating and stirring for a while longer, then test again.
- When thick, add the orange blossom water or rose water, stir throughly and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Pour into a glass dish, allow to cool slightly, then decorate with chopped nuts, making pretty patterns.
- Chill until serving (about two hours).