This delicate Ottoman milk pudding has a burned bottom layer that adds a toasted-marshmallow, caramel-like flavor reminiscent of crème brûlée.
Legend has it that one day the pudding was burnt by mistake. When the makers realised it was delicious, they burnt it deliberately.
It takes patience and some stovetop skill to make this traditional Turkish dessert, but the results will be worth it.
Burned Milk Pudding ( Kazandibi)
- 80 g / 1/3 cup / 3 oz unsalted butter
- 100 g / 2/3 cup / 3 1/3 oz rice flour
- 25 g / scant 1/4 cup / 1 oz plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1.5 litres / 6 1/4 cups / 50 fl oz milk
- 1/4 tsp mastic (plant resin) pounded with 1 tsp sugar
- 200 g / 1 cup / 7 oz sugar
- 4 drops vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Reduce the heat, add the flours and cook for 3 minutes, mixing continuously.
Add the milk and mastic and whisk for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook for another 20–30 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
Add 150 g (3/4 cup/5 oz) of the sugar and the vanilla extract, cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Put the remaining sugar and 20 ml (4 tsp/3/4 fl oz) water into a 20 x 25-cm (8 x 10-inch) flame-proof aluminum or cast-iron baking pan and spread evenly with a rubber spatula.
Heat the sugar over high heat until it melts, making sure it doesn’t burn.
Pour the milk mixture over and mix thoroughly. As you do this, keep a close eye on the sugar at the base. The moment it burns, remove from the heat and let rest for 2 minutes.
Let rest for 2 hours at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for 5 hours.
Cut the pudding into squares with a rubber spatula. Serve each slice burned bottom up, sprinkled with cinnamon.
Recipe courtesy of The Turkish Cookbook by Musa Dağdeviren.