Skip to content →

muhallebi with rosewater, rose petals and pistachio

A rose scented luxurious cream dessert from the repertoire of the Eastern Mediterranean Patisserie!

ingredients for 8 servings (cost about 6 € pp with organic products)
  • 1 liter full fat milk
  • 60 ml rosewater
  • A handful dried rose petals
  • 75 g cornstarch
  • 85 g sugar
  • a pinch salt
  • finely chopped pistachios for decoration

This dessert is very popular in the eastern Mediterranean countries. In my humble opinion, it is by far superior than other creams, as it is scented with rosewater, which gives heavenly desserts.

To ensure a silky texture, I make it using a double boiler, as I do with all my creams. This helps us apply a gentle heat to the cream, so that it does not thicken aggressively, preventing it both from burning, as well as from forming lumps. It is crucial that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl, containing the cream. The cream should be cooked by the steam.

Last, but not least. This dessert is based on very few ingredients, milk being its basic one. To get it perfectly flavored, you should avoid using UHT, or skimmed milk. I assure you, the quality of milk, makes a great difference.

First of all, we soak for several hours a handful of dried rose petals in water to rehydrate them, then we strain them and we set aside for the decoration. We measure 60 ml of the rose scented water. Alternatively, we can use already bought rose water. It will give an even stronger aroma.

We gently warm about 900 ml of the milk and we keep the rest to use it for diluting the starch. Maizena should always be diluted in cold liquids.

Meanwhile, we prepare a hot bath, by filling a pot less than half way up with water and we bring it to a gentle boil.

We sieve the starch in a heatproof bowl and we dilute it with the cold milk, by stirring it well with a whisk. We also add the rosewater.

When the milk is well warmed, but not boiling, we take a few spoons and we add them to the diluted starch to temper it. Then, we add the rest of the milk and we place the bowl over the pot with the hot water.

We adjust the heat to low and we stir the mixture constantly with a whisk, until it is about to thicken, then we add the sugar and we continue stirring, making sure that the sugar dissolves completely. We can add the sugar from the beginning, if we prefer, but it will prolong the thickening procedure.

When the cream starts to thicken – this should happen at about 75 o C (do invest on a cooking thermometer, it costs about 20 euros and it is very useful), we count 1 minute, continuing to stir, then we remove the bowl from the double boiler and we place it inside another bowl filled with cold (iced, even better) water. We continue stirring vigorously with the whisk, so as to lower the cream’s temperature and “stop” the cooking procedure. This way we ensure a shiny look, a silky texture, and a total absence of lumps. If, nevertheless, lumps have been formed, we can pass the cream from a fine sieve, in order to eliminate them.

We pour the cream into individual bowls and we keep them in the fridge, until serving time. It needs to be well chilled (4 hours min).

We serve the muhallebi creams topping them with some rose petals (they are edible and very tasty), as well as finely chopped pistachio.


Published in DESSERTS