Mouhallabieh or the Lebanese flan with orange blossom . I love it since its discovery more than ten years ago (I already told you about it at the time). This delicate, silky, fragrant cream, with this little taste of the Orient, sensual and mysterious. A milk cream , soft and fragrant, light in the mouth that you can accommodate as you like. And perfect at the end of a meal. Egg and gluten free. A great classic not only of Lebanese cuisine, but also of Turkey, for example. One of those timeless recipes to have in your notebooks and above all that is so easy to make! Here I have decorated it with fresh orange but more traditionally it is served with sugar syrup (that doesn’t surprise you, does it?) and pistachios…. And regarding the improvised photo at the end of a photo session for a client , it was almost the winter sunset with these last golden rays… I let myself be inspired.
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS OF THIS LEBANESE FLAN?
Absolutely from the closet!
- fresh whole milk (best if fresh but UHT will do too)
- corn starch (type Maïzena which is a brand, we find corn starch (wrongly also called starch, but that’s potato starch) also in organic stores. You can also replace (like there- down 😉 by rice flour
- orange blossom: take quality with a natural scent 😉 I use a Lebanese but also an Italian (rarer will go) or even Tunisian. I have also recently started using neroli essential oil, powerful it takes very little
HOW TO SUCCEED MUHALLABIEH?
It’s very simple since you just have to mix, cook and then let it rest in the fridge. However, there are two small things to keep in mind:
- always mix the starch with the liquid (here the milk) cold otherwise it will not dissolve and make lumps
- bring the milk to the boil with the other ingredients (so that the starch can act and set the cream) mixing with a whisk until it thickens (it will take a few minutes). It will still be fluid warm but will firm up as it cools.
HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP MILK FLAN?
It keeps quietly for two to three days in the fridge . I have never tried freezing.
- 50 cl whole fresh milk
- 30 g corn starch such as Maizena or rice flour
- 80 g sugar
- 2 – 3 tbsp quality orange blossom water or 2-3 drops of Neroli essential oil
- few orange slices for garnish (optional)
Pour milk into the pan with sugar and starch (it is important to add the latter to a cold liquid).
Put on the heat and bring to a simmer for about 8 minutes, until the cream thickens (a bit like a béchamel). Switch off, add the orange blossom water and mix again.
Leave to cool slightly then pour the mixture into glasses or ramekins. Cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 4-5 hours (the cream will firm up).
Shortly before serving, garnish with a slice of orange.
Storage : this cream can be kept quietly in the fridge for three days (without the filling).
Variations : on this basis you can
- replace milk with almond milk (unsweetened)
- starch with white rice flour (or a mixture of both)
- orange blossom with rose water (or mix the two) or another flavor such as cinnamon, cardamom…
- garnish (as more traditionally) with sugar syrup and pistachios or other fresh fruit depending on the season (but sweet enough not too present to fully appreciate the delicacy of the cream).