How would you like to eat a sort of crème brulée, but without the sinful calories, cream, egg yolks, and such? This is a simple semolina pudding made up of semolina, milk, a bit of sugar, and flavored with orange blossom. That’s it! You can make it stylish by adding a couple teaspoons of brown sugar on the top and caramelize it under the broiler. Then it will look and taste like a creme brulée, in a much lighter version. Comforting and creamy and fragrant with orange blossom. It takes a few minutes to make.
The recipe is adapted from 280 recettes de cuisine familiale Libanaise from Fayez Aoun. This dessert is called in Arabic lekmat al helwa, which means “the morsel of the pretty girl”. I streamlined the recipe; enjoy!
INGREDIENTS: This quantity will serve 4 and up to 6
2 cups of milk
1/3 cup of fine semolina
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoon of orange blossom water
4 teaspoons of brown sugar (for the crust)
- Place the milk and sugar in a saucepan and heat. Mix with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar.
- When the milk mixture starts to steam, add the semolina, and stir continuously until the mixture thickens. This should take less than 5 minutes.
- Add the flavoring (orange blossom water preferably) and stir for a few more seconds.
- Immediately pour the semolina pudding into small oven-proof containers. Let it cool.
- About one hour (or longer) before serving, preheat the oven 350F and place in the oven to bake 10 minutes or so. Two minutes before the 10 minutes are up, cover the surface with brown sugar and caramelize under the broiler until the surface is bubbly and melted.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
Caramelizing the brown sugar is a last-minute step. It will melt in the fridge and leave a not-so-appetizing brownish liquid on top. If you want to make them ahead of time, just pull out of the fridge and put under the broiler right before serving!
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