Rasmalai with Rose Water and Pistachios
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Credit: The Sweet Spot: Asian-Inspired Desserts (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2007), co-authored by Pichet Ong
The National Culinary Review, October 2010
3 quarts milk
¹/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 T. + 1 t. sugar, divided
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cinnamon stick
1 t. dried rose petals, plus more for garnish
4 cardamom pods
¹/8 t. salt
¾ t. rose water
¼ cup shelled unsalted pistachios, for garnish
3 T. fresh orange zest, for garnish
1. Put milk in large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it boils, remove from heat; stir in lemon juice. (The mixture should curdle within 10 seconds. If it doesn’t, turn heat back to medium; stir slowly until most of milk has curdled.)
2. Strain mixture through fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. Set sieve over large mixing bowl, with at least 2 inches between bottom of sieve and bottom of bowl; let mixture sit at least 20 minutes. (To let sit for more than 30minutes, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
3. When all liquid has been drained, transfer remaining cheese in cheesecloth to bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 T. sugar and flour; mix 5 minutes on medium speed, until well-incorporated. With hands, scoop cheese into ½-inch balls; press into patties 1 inch in diameter and ½-inch thick. Set aside.
4. Put whole milk, cream, remaining sugar, cinnamon stick, 1 t. rose petals, cardamom pods, salt and rose water in large saucepan; stir well. Set over medium heat. Bring to a steady simmer; cook 10 minutes, stirring, until thick and reduced by half. Add cheese dumplings; cook 2 minutes, stirring gently. Turn dumplings over; cook 2 minutes more.
5. To serve: Divide cheese dumplings and sauce among serving bowls, discarding cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Garnish with rose petals, pistachios and orange zest. Serve warm.
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