On Monday I told you about two of my favorite cookbooks – I rely on Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain and Jerusalem by Ottolenghi on a weekly basis. Both of these books focus on a specific regional cuisine, and boast of rich photography and hearty flavours. Earlier this week I posted one of my favorite recipes from Jamie (Scottish shortbread), and today, I wanted to share one of my all time favorite Ottolenghi dishes – Coconut & Pistachio Muhallabieh.Although I’m sharing a sweet dish, I don’t want to imply that Jerusalem is a confectionary cook book. While there are a few sweet dishes here and there, it’s Ottolenghi’s warm and savoury dishes that really shine. However, most of these savoury dinner recipes call for twenty to thirty ingredients! They’re beautiful, but they take a lot of time and love to cook. I like this Muhallabieh recipe because it’s one of the shorter recipes in the book. It only calls for a few major ingredients, most of which are in your cabinet already, and you can whip the pudding up in five minutes flat.
For the pudding you will need 50g of cornflour, 500 ml full fat milk (however I used semi skimmed and it came out fine – I just skimped on the water a bit), 200ml water, and 80g castor sugar.
Start by whisking together the cornflour with 100ml of the milk to make a smooth paste. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining milk, water, and sugar. Bring to heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the cornflour paste. Keep the saucepan gently heated and continually stir the pudding as it warms. Once small bubbles start to appear and the mixture is thick, remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the contents into 4-6 small bowls or cups. Cover the top of each pudding with cling film to prevent a skin from forming (the cling film should touch the top of the pudding). Let chill for a minimum of three hours.
I have to admit, I ate a good third of the pudding while it was still warm. It was a sweet and sugary delight, a warm pudding, ideal on a frosty day. The thought of putting this warm treat in the fridge to chill did not bode well on such a nippy day, but alas, I wanted to follow the recipe as instructed. So in the fridge (actually, on the balcony) these pudding cups went. And it was time to make the topping.
This is where I veered from Ottolenghi’s recipe slightly. Instead of making a syrup of bay leaf, vanilla pod, and rose petals, I simply chopped up some pistachios and coconut, and used a bay leaf as a garnish.Once the pudding had cooled, I placed a bay leaf in each cup.And then added a sprinkle of pistachio and coconut to the top of each pudding.Next, I took a billion photos. I love the color purple in the winter (see these beautiful eggplant photos) and I especially appreciated how the green/purple of the pistachios popped against the white of the pudding and the light dusting of coconut.I had to hold out on sampling the finished product, as these beauties were made to take to a friend’s for afternoon tea. Once there, everyone agreed that they were unique and delicious, and equally beautiful!