Orange and Milk pudding with Candied orange slices (Balouza)

December 8, 2009  •  Category:


Desserts can be divided in two categories in the Lebanese repertoire. The ones that everybody buys at the famous pastry-makers who have been doing it for one hundred years or more and the ones that people make at home, usually enlisting the services of a grandmother or kind relative. This balouza belongs to the second category. It is the basic muhallabiyeh with an orange pudding on top, thickened with cornstarch as well. Simple to prepare;  comforting and refreshing. A Lebanese panna cotta except lighter, delicate and gossamer. Unlike the panna cotta which is thickened with gelatin, this muhallabiyeh gets its texture from cornstarch. Please don’t substitute gelatin,  unless you are allergic in which case  rice flour can be  used instead.

I added candied orange slices to this dessert on a whim after seeing them on Chantal’s blog .She calls them cristallines d’orange.


INGREDIENTS: This quantity will yield 4 servings, recipe is adapted

I consulted a book by Lina Shbaro Baydoun الحلويات ا لعربيه والغربيه

For the milk muhallabiyeh:

  • 1 cup of skim or lowfat milk
  • 1 cup of whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon of rose water

For the orange muhallabiyeh:

  • 4 large oranges (or more to total 1 1/4 cups) Do not substitute packaged orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar (or more, to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch diluted in 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon rose water


Making the muhallabiyeh:

  1. Pour the milk and cream into a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  2. Heat the mixture to boiling. As soon as you see steam coming out, add the sugar and keep stirring.
  3. Add the cornstarch and water mixture and keep stirring for one minute or so. When the mixture thickens, add the orange blossom water and the rose water.
  4. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a measuring cup with a spout.
  5. Pour the muhallabiyeh into individual serving dishes and let it cool at room temperature.
  6. Store in the fridge.

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Making the orange muhallabiyeh:

  1. Juice the oranges and strain the liquid to get 1 1/4 cups of strained orange juice.
  2. Place in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. When the juice starts steaming, add the sugar, stir well and then add the cornstarch mixture.
  4. Continue stirring while it bubbles up and add the flavorings. When the mixture thickens, pour through a strainer into a measuring cup with a spout.
  5. Using a large tablespoon, place a few tablespoons of the orange pudding onto the surface of the milk pudding, dividing it equally between all 4 cups.
  6. Cool at room temperature and then in the fridge. Serve when cold, a few hours later or the next day.

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  • 2 oranges (organic), sliced very thin (the thinner the better)
  • 1/2  cup of water
  • 3/4 cup of sugar


  1. In a saucepan, place the water and sugar.
  2. Boil the mixture and let it cool for 15 minutes
  3. Pour the syrup over the oranges and let it soak up the oranges for 30 minutes or so.
  4. Drain the oranges and place on a cookie sheet.
  5. Bake in a 175F (90C) for about 3 hours until the orange slices are crispy and dried up. Do not let them brown!
  6. Keep in a tightly sealed metal container for about a week.

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NOTE: This dessert is also done with rice pudding.



21 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. yasmeen says:

    That looks divine.Love the hint of orange blossom water.Have a great vacation.Guess the package might take another week ,not sure but you will get it shortly 😀

  2. MaryMoh says:

    Wow….looks so soft, silken, smooth, creamy and delicious. I love the candied orange. Very beautiful photography. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Ivy says:

    Joumana can you please let me know what the word “Balouza” literally means. Every time I come to your blog I am amazed with the similarity of our cuisines. We make “mahalepi” in Cyprus as well as Palouzes, which is a cream with grape must.

    Your orange and milk muhallabiyeh sounds delicious and I would love to try it.

    • Joumana says:

      Ivy! tu m’as posé une colle- I don’t know the answer! I checked my two Arabic dictionaries and did not find the word baloozeh, in any close spelling either! so I will continue my sleuthing in Beirut next week! it is possible the word comes from Cyprus, since so many Lebanese folks lived there during the civil war and the dessert was rebaptized in a different form in Lebanon, but the name was kept.
      Sorry I was under the impression you speak French (I saw your comments on French blogs). What I was saying was “you asked me a sticky question”

  4. SE says:

    This looks so tempting and super delicious…u know what..i am a big fan of candied orange peels..i dont eat oranges, but use the peels…this is another one for me to use those peels..thanks

  5. Azita says:

    This looks very delicious! I like that it’s simple to make and refreshing. Also, I find the step by step photos very helpful. Thanks.

  6. cathy says:

    Avec du riz au lait, ce dessert doit une merveille également, c’est très alléchant!!
    Bonne soirée

  7. Ivy says:

    Thanks Joumana. I do speak a little French. I was thinking that maybe if the word balouza means cream, we may have used the word for palouzes as a grape must cream but then it may be as you also explained. Thanks for the reply.

  8. Big Boys Oven says:

    Just perfect for my weekend dessert party! 🙂

  9. iffet says:

    I love this picture. I do similar desserts but mine never looks this good.

  10. Sarah says:

    I have made regular muhallabiyeh before but never this extra special kind, it looks delicious. Do you think this recipe can be done with red grapefruit, perhaps not traditional but I have a tree loaded with the fruits ready to be picked. Your dessert must smell lovely with the orange blossom and rose water.

  11. Alépine says:

    J’aime beaucoup ce dessert, ma mère a l’habitude de faire la “balouza” avec le riz au lait (qu’on appelle alors “mbattan”).Très belle déco !

  12. Julie says:

    Encore une fois, ça a l’air d’être délicieux… Tes photos sont toujours superbes!! Bisous!

  13. Tammy says:

    I’m salivating. And impressed. This is very inspiring: I now know what I’m making for dessert this weekend.

  14. Nansi says:

    Hi Joumana!

    Just wanted to share that I made this over the weekend and it was DELICIOUS!! It looked so beautiful with the candied oranges, everyone loved it, thank you for sharing!

  15. kouky says:

    je viens de déguster ce dessert que j’ai préparé cet après midi et je suis sous le charme!! le crémeux, la douceur de cette crème sont uniques! j’ai l’ habitude de préparer la muhalébeyé, mais là c’est le must!! c’est sans doute la présence de la crème qui donne cette douceur en bouche!! l’association avec l’orange est très rafraichissante en ces temps de grandes chaleurs!! merci merci Joumana pour cette délicieuse découverte!!
    ton décor est superbe! mais je n’ai pas pu le reproduire car je n’avais pas d’orange entière! bises!

  16. maida says:

    je découvre ton blog grâce à kouky et je tombe sous le charme, bravo

  17. Kathy says:

    I have made your citrus and cream jelly but I prefer this recipe, like you I prefer to use corn starch. I also find that if you make a mistake using the agar agar it can get rubbery too quickly. The corn starch is easier to use and much easier to adjust and I like the creamier feel to the puddings. I plan on using this for my Christmas dessert with just a hint of clove and nutmeg. I think that would make it taste similar to spiced holiday drinks.

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