Do you like to end your main meal with a touch of sweetness?
I don’t really want a thick slice of cheesecake; just a little something sweet, not too sweet, just right.
Ashtalieh is a cream pudding; it comes from ashta, which is the Arabic word for cream; here, I simply added a handful of pistachios and instead of serving it in a bowl as is the custom, I used a cookie dough scoop to make little balls of ashtalieh, to savor individually, for a touch of creamy sweetness at the end of a good dinner.
Not a smidgeon more.
- 1/2 cup of whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
- 3 Tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of rose water or orange blossom water or a bit of each
- 1/3 cup of cornstarch
- 1/3 cup of ground pistachios
- 1/2 cup of whole pistachios, chopped coarsely
- Place the cream and milk in a measuring jug; pour 1 1/2 cups of this mixture into a saucepan. Add the sugar and stir over low to medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add to the remaining mixture the cornstarch and mix well to dissolve. As soon as the milk and cream in the saucepan starts to steam, pour the cornstarch mixture over it, stirring with a rubber whisk constantly. It will thicken in a matter of minutes. Add the flavoring of your choice and stir. Add the pistachios and set aside or pour into small bowls.
- If using the ball idea, grind some pistachios in a coffee grinder. Dip the cookie dough scooper into water, then the ground pistachios first and then into the ashtalieh, and form little balls. Sprinkle with additional ground pistachios or leave as is. Keep in the fridge until serving time. Serve cold.
NOTE: If you are so inclined, you can stir into the ashtalieh in the last few minutes of cooking a dash of mastic pebbles ground with a dash of sugar.
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