Muhallabieh with candied lemon

muhallabieh with lemon copy

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


  1. Measure the cornstarch and mix into 1/2 cup  of the milk  until smooth.
  2. 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.
  3. When the milk  starts showing some steam, add the cornstarch mixture and stir continuously until the milk thickens.
  4. Add the flavoring and stir a few seconds longer.
  5. Pour into a bowl (through a strainer).
  6. 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.

best muhallabieh ever

Kamal's place

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.


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  1. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:12 am | Permalink




  2. Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    What a lovely variation on mhallabiya – love it with orange, apricot and mango but have never had it with candied lemon! Beautiful.

  3. Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Those are some happy faces! I like this…simple but flavorful. I am so about the lemon!

  4. Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Looks incredible! Also, those windows are phenomenal! Who’s house is that?

  5. Joumana
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    @Banana Wonder: the host is Kamal Mouzawak whose pictured savoring the muhallabieh!

  6. Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    This looks absolutely delicious and easy! Saving this for a rainy day…soon I hope. I always have some candied lemon zest in my fridge.

  7. Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    What a nice blossom and rose water and a layer of candied lemon.
    I can see why everyone is enjoying the dessert.
    Have a great week Jourmana!

  8. samir
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    lovely pics and recipe….. and what a stunning apartment..!

  9. Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    I love the photo of your friends savoring this delight! This is what wonderful food is all about – sharing with friends and family :)

  10. Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    I made it today for a dinner party I was cooking for and it was quite the hit. The only change I made to the recipe was to replace some of the water with the juice of a particularly large, particularly juicy Meyer lemon. Simple, elegant, and quite delicious. Nice recipe, Joumana. This one’s going into my personal recipes.

  11. Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    Mmmmmh… this reminds me of a Brazilian dessert I just recently: sweet creaminess paired with the sourness of fruit… sounds delicious

  12. Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Cute and very attractive dessert,love to grab and have it rite now.

  13. Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Quel adorable petite douceur sucrée au look plein de charme. Bisous et douce soirée en ce jeudi

  14. Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I quite like the idea of a mouth-puckering twist on muhallabieh! By the way I made your chickpea soup yesterday and I love it – I didn’t have seville oranges so I used the regular kind. It was so good & so comforting.

  15. Joumana
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    @Needful Things: So glad to hear you liked it!

  16. Posted January 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    That’s an super simple recipe….looks so yummy…..

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