This Dessert from Izmir Is Best for Breakfast
Shared by Ziona Cohen
Recipe Roots: Izmir, Turkey > Tel Aviv, Israel
Living in a hut on the dunes outside of Tel Aviv, Ziona Cohen’s mother Esther Pitchon cooked simply during the week, reserving special dishes like bourekas, or flaky triangular pastries stuffed with potatoes and cheese, for Shabbat. Her Saturday morning breakfast menu showed touches of her family’s Turkish roots — Esther was from Izmir, her father Shmuel from Istanbul — like hard boiled eggs served alongside the bourekas. Esther would end the meal with sütlaç, a classic Turkish rice pudding that’s topped with cinnamon and served cold. While it’s a sweet ending to any meal, it’s feels most decadent when it’s served as Esther did, as part of a weekend breakfast.
Sütlaç (Turkish Rice Pudding)
Makes: 6 cups
Time: 45 minutes, plus cooling and 4 hours chilling time
2¾ water, divided
¾ cup basmati rice, rinsed
4 cups milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Ground cinnamon, for garnish
1. In a small pot, combine 1½ of the water with the rice over medium heat. Cook uncovered until the water is completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, combine 1 cup of the water with the milk, sugar and salt. Bring to a very light simmer.
3. Transfer the cooked rice into the heated milk and continue to cook, stirring often, until the rice grows and begins to rice to the top, 15 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch with the remaining ¼ cup of water until smooth, then add to the pot. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until thick and porridge-like in consistency, about 5 minutes.
5. Remove from the heat and let cool, then refrigerate for 4 hours to chill. Divide between bowls, garnish with cinnamon and serve.