I was reminded recently (after a glorious lunch at Kamal’s) how wonderful our homey muhallabieh can be. It is perfect in many ways; it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, it does not require many ingredients (milk, sugar, starch or rice flour, flavoring), it is very versatile. I had just never tried it with lemon. Orange jelly on top (or apricot) is generally the rule.
If you are like me (I love things that make my mouth pucker a bit), you’ll love this version. Plus, the candied lemons are super easy to make and can be made several days before.
INGREDIENTS: This quantity will yield 4 servings
- 2 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup of whipping cream or half-and-half
- 1/4 cup of cornstarch (or rice flour- but it will take longer to thicken)
- 1/4 cup of sugar (or more, to taste)
- 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water and 1 tsp of rose water
- Measure the cornstarch and mix into 1/2 cup of the milk until smooth.
- Pour the milk (less the conrstarch mixture) and cream into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the sugar, place on medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon.
- When the milk starts showing some steam, add the cornstarch mixture and stir continuously until the milk thickens.
- Add the flavoring and stir a few seconds longer.
- Pour into a bowl (through a strainer).
- Immediately, divide the mixture into 4 small cups. Cool at room temperature then refrigerate. Add the lemon jelly and candied lemons on top after letting it cool in the fridge for several hours.
To make the candied lemons and jelly layer:
- 2 large lemons, sliced very thin
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of sugar
Place the sliced lemons in a saucepan; sprinkle the sugar on each layer of sliced lemons until all sugar has been used up; add the water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 55 minutes, reduce the heat to low if it boils. The mixture will turn syrupy. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Keep in the fridge until needed.