Ashtaliyeh or cream pudding

February 18, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

A traditional cream pudding from Lebanon flavored with rose water and orange blossom water and garnished with ground pistachios —Taste of Beirut

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3 ounces cream cheese spread
  • 3 pieces mastic
  • 2 teaspoons rose water
  • 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons ground pistachios
  1. Heat 1 1/2 cup of the milk, sugar, cream cheese till sugar and cheese is melted and dissolved
  2. Add the cornstarch to remaining milk and stir to dissolve
  3. When milk mixture starts steaming, add the cornstarch mixture
  4. Stir continuously until thick, adding the ground mastic and flavorings at the end
  5. Strain through a sieve into small bowls and cool uncovered in the fridge
  6. While the pudding is cooling, prepare the syrup by boiling water and sugar in a saucepan
  7. After a few minutes of boiling, add the lemon juice and boil the syrup for a total of 12 minutes
  8. Remove from the heat and add the flavoring then cool the syrup
  9. Present the syrup on the side when serving the pudding
  10. When ready to serve the pudding, garnish with a sprinkling of ground pistachios on top
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7 Reviews

ceilithe February 20, 2011
This reminds me of "yakh dar behesht," an Iranian cornstarch-based pudding translated as "ice in paradise." Yummy, or as they say in Persian "bah bah" :)
kristy49 February 20, 2011
I had had tis or something similar when my Arabic friend and I worked together she'd make it. It is really delicious! Thabks for the recipe!
sixtyfive February 20, 2011
Please explain "cream cheese spread" and "mastic".
Taste O. February 23, 2011
In Middle-Eastern stores (and in some main supermarkets as well) there is a cheese spread called PUCK or Kiri; it is similar to cream cheese and can be used interchangeably. As for mastic, it is a type of resin extracted from a tree in Chios, Greece and used extensively in Lebanese, Greek, Turkish and other cuisines of the region; this mastic gum is available in Arabic or Greek stores, as well as online sold through Amazon and others. To be used it needs to be ground in a small mortar with a dash of sugar or placed in a plastic bag and crushed with a rolling pin. It is an optional spice, but adds a distinct flavor to this dessert.
Sagegreen February 19, 2011
Sundayinthekitchen February 19, 2011
Gorgeous photo!
Jennifer A. February 19, 2011
This is really beautiful, and sounds delicious! I am adding to my recipe box to try soon.