In classic sütlaç recipes there is always some shortcut to cut some time out and arrive at a similar final product, like using corn starch or rice flour. Cooking the rice using the technique utilized with risotto, produces a sütlaç that is both thick and creamy, without the aftertaste of an added thickener, in other words, much tastier. You can make a crumble to serve with it (like we did here) but even just finely chopped pistachios would work wonderfully.
Ingredients for Sütlaç - Turkish Rice Pudding
For the sütlaç
- 1.6 quarts (1 1/2 liters) milk
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) risotto rice
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) Sugar
For the pecan-pistachio crumble
- 7 ounces (200 grams) butter
- 1 1/4 cup (250 grams) Sugar
- 1 1/2 cups minus one tablespoon (200 grams) flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 cup (120 grams) almond flour
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) candied pecans chopped
- 2/3 cup (70 grams) pistachio nuts chopped
Prepare the crumble:
1. Preheat the oven to 270F/130C. Using a food processor, mix the butter and sugar until well combined.
2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the flour, baking powder, almond flour, pecans and pistachios. Mix by hand until a soft dough forms. Flatten the dough in a baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Remove from the oven, cool, and break into crumbs. The crumble can be kept in a sealed container in the freezer for up to a month.
Prepare the sütlaç:
3. Bring milk to a boil in a wide-bottomed pot then lower the flame.
4. Heat a different (dry) pot and add the rice. Pour one ladle of the warm milk into the pot, cook and stir until the rice absorbs the milk. Add more of the milk – one ladle at a time - and stir (just like when making risotto). When the rice stops absorbing the milk, add the remaining milk and the sugar and cook for about 30 minutes until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. How will you know when the consistency is right? Dip a tablespoon in the mixture, remove it and wait a few seconds. Wipe one of your fingers along the length of the spoon – the line left by your finger should remain clean and leave a narrow track. If that does not occur, continue cooking over a low flame, stirring constantly, and check again in another 5 minutes.
5. Pour the sütlaç into bowls, cover with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight or for up to four days. Serve with the crumble topping.
Classic sütlaç recipes always include some kind of shortcut that results in a thicker pudding, such as using cornstarch or rice flour. However, if the rice is cooked like risotto, the sütlaç will be both thick and creamy, but without the aftertaste of the cornstarch or flour. In short – a pudding that tastes a whole lot better. The pudding can be served with a fancy crumble topping (like the one suggested here), but finely chopped pistachio nuts also do a great job.
This recipe is courtesy of Hashulchan.