I’ve always been a dairy fan. I can’t go one day without milk, yogurt or cheese. My dear hubs is lactose intolerant, so making milk desserts all the time is a bit unfair. Besides, I’ve come to notice that I can still survive with less dairy intake. I can’t really say I have a sweet tooth, so spending a lot of time in the kitchen for making desserts is not my cup of tea. This one’s different though, milk calms down the taste of sugar a bit and it makes a wonderful light dessert. There are other ways as well of using semolina as a dessert ingredient in Turkish cuisine. It goes into savory recipes and even meat dishes as well.
1 lt of whole milk (you can replace with skim milk or soy milk)
1 cup of semolina (try with polenta if you don’t have access to semolina, polenta can be found in organic food section of the supermarkets)
1.5 cups of sugar (reduce if you prefer a sweet topping for your dessert, such as honey, fruit jam…etc.)
1 egg (this is optional, it tastes richer with egg, more plain without)
50 grs of butter (no in-bracket notes about this ingredient, just butter, plain butter :) )
Vanilla (this one’s optional, Ottoman desserts do not include vanilla normally, contemporary Turkish food does though)
Put all the ingredients into a preferably non-stick saucepan, mix thoroughly and cook on low heat continuously stirring with a metal whisk. You can stir with a spoon as well, but a whisk gives a nice texture in the end. Bring it to boil, simmer for 5 minutes, still stirring, remove from the heat and add vanilla if you like. Depending on your liking, you can use small ice cube molds made of silicone, in various shapes. The one I used in the above picture is a heart-shaped one. I like the semolina pudding in circular shaped molds, as it comes out smooth and shiny with a yummy texture outside which I simply love as it touches my lips, I know I sound like a weirdo :), but yeah, that’s the relationship I have with my food :).
One other idea is to use regular cake molds or a 3 cm-deep rectangular tray. You just pour the hot pudding into the tray or mold, let it cool off a little, then keep it in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours. Cut into square or rectangular slices. Then you’re good to go. You can garnish the dessert with crushed hazelnuts, pistachio nuts, pomegranate seeds, grated chocolate…etc. This simple dessert recipe leaves the door open for creativity.