Turkish Rice Pudding (Sütlaç) 1

Turkish Rice Pudding (Sütlaç)

 

 

Rice pudding is a great dessert, but Turkish Rice Pudding (Sütlaç) is the best! If you’ve ever been to Turkey, you know what I’m talking about. For those who haven’t, these two recipes will introduce you to a simple classic beloved by all Turks.

Turkish Rice Pudding
Turkish Rice Pudding

 

The Best Turkish Dessert?

Of all the desserts that Turkey has to offer – baklava, dondurma (ice cream)aşure (Noah’s Pudding), etc. – the one that captures the most hearts and palates is sütlaç (pronounced sOOt-lahtch) – known in English as rice pudding. But here’s the thing: it’s not just “rice pudding,” just as Rolls Royce is not just “a car.” The Turks have taken it to its highest form. Once you’ve tasted it, all other rice puddings pale in comparison

If you enjoyed custard and rice pudding as a child, you’ll love this recipe for baked rice pudding, known in Turkey as fırın sütlaç (fur-UHN’ soot-LAHCH’). Turkey is famous for its wide selection of milk-based desserts and puddings, and baked rice pudding is the cream of the crop. It holds a very special place in Turkish cuisine—you’ll find that it’s made in every home and served in every Turkish restaurant.

Adults and kids alike love baked rice pudding, a healthy dessert choice after a big meal. It’s best when made with fresh whole milk and chilled several hours before serving. Some Turkish folks still go out of their way to seek out fresh, non-pasteurized milk to make fırın sütlaç. It’s said that the tricks to making perfect rice pudding are fresh milk, slow cooking, constant stirring, and lots of patience.

Ingredients

  • 1​/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 to 2 cups water (amount needed to cover rice)
  • 4 3/4 cups and 3 tablespoons whole​ milk (divided)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg yolk beaten

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C.

    Fırın Sütlaç (Turkish Baked Rice Pudding) ingredients
  2. In a colander, rinse the rice until the water runs clear.

    Turkish Rice Pudding
  3. In a large saucepan, add the rice and enough water to cover it by about 1/2 inch.

    rice and water in a saucepan
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Let the rice simmer gently until it’s softened, about 5 minutes.

    rice and water cooking in a saucepan
  5. Add 3 3/4 cups milk, the sugar, and vanilla extract to the rice. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it boil very gently for about 10 minutes.

    Add 3 3/4 cups milk, the sugar, and vanilla extract to the rice in the saucepan
  6. In a small bowl, use a whisk to mix 1 cup of milk and the cornstarch until smooth.

    milk and cornstarch mixture in a bowl
  7. While stirring, gradually pour the milk-cornstarch mixture into the rice.

    Turkish Rice Pudding
  8. Turn up the heat and continue stirring the pudding until scalding.

    cook pudding in the saucepan
  9. When the pudding thickens, continue to stir and cook for about 2 minutes more.

    Turkish Rice Pudding
  10. Remove from the heat and fill small, ovenproof dessert cups, clay cups, or disposable aluminum pudding cups with the hot mixture.

    pudding in pudding cups
  11. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with the remaining 3 tablespoons of milk.

    egg yolk and milk mixture in a bowl
  12. Using a spoon, drizzle a small amount of the egg-milk mixture into the center of each dessert cup.

    Turkish Rice Pudding
  13. With the back of the spoon, use a light, circular motion to swirl the egg yolk from the center to the edges so it spreads evenly over the top of each cup.

    Turkish Rice Pudding
  14. Bake the pudding cups until the tops are nicely browned, about 20 minutes.

    Turkish Rice Pudding
  15. Let the cups cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for several hours before serving. Enjoy.

    Fırın Sütlaç Turkish Baked Rice Pudding
    Turkish Rice Pudding

    Rice pudding is a dish made from rice mixed with water or milk and other ingredients such as cinnamonvanilla and raisins.

    Variants are used for either desserts or dinners. When used as a dessert, it is commonly combined with a sweetener such as sugar. Such desserts are found on many continents, especially Asia where rice is a staple. Some variants are thickened only with the rice starch; others include eggs, making them a kind of custard.[1]

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