Mom tells us that there weren’t big patisserie shops in Turkey in the past, there were just small pudding shops (muhallebici), which weren’t very big in number. Because these pudding shops were not very common, they were considered as special places for special events. When people had an important meeting with friends, these pudding shops were their only choice. However, these pudding shops had a more important role in Turkish culture those times. When a young man wanted to declare his love to a young woman, he would invite her to a pudding shop and the woman would understand that there would be some very exciting conversation when they met there. So these pudding shops were meeting point of lovers.
Pudding shops were known as small, cute and friendly places. People would enjoy their pudding in peace. Pudding (muhallebi), Turkish rice pudding (sütlaç) and keşkül were some of the dairy desserts they would serve. They wouldn’t serve other types of desserts, just the desserts made of milk. Although we have numerous patisserie shops today, I’m not sure if they have the same friendly atmosphere. Today’s luxury patisserie shops serve various desserts, but they are not as important as the small pudding shops were for lovers.
The English pronounciation of keşkül may be something like this: kashkul
– 1kg milk
– 1 ½ tbsp rice flour
– 1 ½ tbsp corn starch
– 3 egg yolks
– 100g cream
– ½ tbsp vanilla
– 1 cup sugar
– ½ cup almond, peeled and crumbled
– Pistachio, almond and raisin to decorate
Put sugar and egg yolks in a pot and beat with an egg beater. Take about ¼ cup milk into a bowl and mix it with rice flour and corn starch. Put it aside. Add the rest of the milk into the pot and go on beating. Put the pot on fire and boil it over medium heat and stir occasionally. When it starts to boil, add the rice flour and starch mixture and beat it. Add peeled and crumbled almonds after 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream after a few minutes. Never stop stirring until it’s done. When it gets thick enough, it’s time to take it from fire. But how do we understand it’s thick ‘enough’? You can understand it with the help of the egg beater or a spoon. When you dip the spoon in it and take it out, if the pudding is not runny, if it drops little by little, it’s done.
Take it from fire and pour it in a jug so that it’s easier to pour them into small bowls or cups. Then pour the pudding into small cups one by one. If you see bubbles on their top, you are on the right path.
Do not move these cups until keşkül gets cold.
When it’s cold enough, decorate the tops of keşkül with pistachio, whole almonds and raisin.