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Ottoman Sweets & Desserts: Sütlaç Recipe.

Turkish rice pudding with honey and rose

In contrast to how an Ottoman princess most likely felt about the dish, I was far from fond of rice pudding as a child. It's rich and comforting benefits came to me much later in life when I picked up a copy of Mary Işın's book 'Sherbet & Spice'. 

Enticed by the idea of pılav peltesi, cooked rice mixed with a starch rose water syrup I began to experiment with the flavours of Ottoman cuisine and the cooking style of modern Turkish kitchen.

Alongside a reduced sweetness of typical Turkish rice pudding, I like the gentle infusion of cardamom & cloves and the background notes of rose and vanilla along with a charred skin to remind myself of the history of the simple dessert. 

Sütlaç, historically called 'food with milk' (Sütlü aşı) was traditionally prescribed by the place physicians as a remedy for stomach complaints from both the palace royalty and visitors alike; before taking off as a popular comforting sweet for all. 

Through time it travelled wide through Europe via weddings and banquets and on to our humble dinner table. 

Of course, if you wish you can adjust to the most common recipe using a little packet of vanilla sugar and double up the rice flour and string for a silky smooth finish.  

Turkish rice pudding with honey and rose

 

 
Rice Pudding Sütlaç With Honey & Rose

An Ottoman kitchen inspired oven finished rice pudding with rose water and gentle spice infusion sweetened with honey.

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Category: Desserts, Drinks & Sweet Treats Store-cupboard Cooking
Seasons
Cuisine Type Turkish

Ingredients

Turkish Rice Pudding

200 Mls Water
2 Cardamom pods, Crushed
1 Clove
50 Grams Broken rice (Kırık Prinç)
1 Litre Milk
2 Tablespoons (Heaped) Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Rose water
1 Teaspoon Rice flour

Rice Pudding Sütlaç With Honey & Rose Directions

  1. Wash the rice and leave it to soak in water for ten minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the water and spices into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil before simmering for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the rice to the saucepan and bring once again to heat but do not boil.
  4. Cook for around 15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed.
  5. Remove the spices and stir in the milk and honey until dissolved.
  6. Cook on a moderate heat for around 30 minutes with regular stirring. The more you stir the smoother the pudding outcome will be.
  7. In a small glass add a couple of tablespoons of the hot milk and stir in the rice flour, rose water and vanilla extract, stir to make a thick paste.
  8. Add to the saucepan and cook on a low boil for a further 10 minutes.
  9. The pudding will thicken and can be poured into traditional sutlaç pots or ramekins that have been placed on an oven tray.
  10. Turn on the oven to 200 degrees.
  11. Allow the Turkish rice puddings to sit for 10-15 minutes while the oven preheats and to form a thin skin.
  12. Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the tops have sufficiently browned.
  13. Traditionally the rice desserts are cooled and served chilled but can be enjoyed warm.
  14. Served top with ground pistachios or flaked almonds.

Recipe notes

  • The dessert can be finished in the oven or completely cooked on the stovetop - simply increase the cooking time and stirring until the desired thickness and creaminess is achieved. 
  • This recipe has a reduced amount of honey, for a sweeter treat increase to 3 or tablespoons of honey. Or substitute for sugar. A cup of sugar is often added to standard sutlaç in Turkey. 
  • This recipe has a grainer texture than the pudding often served in restaurants and pudding shops in Turkey. To achieve this reduce the rice and increase the rice flour.  

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