Daddy Micha’s Jerusalem Malabi | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Daddy Micha’s Jerusalem Malabi

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Daddy Micha’s Jerusalem Malabi

Daddy Micha’s Jerusalem Malabi by Carine Goren. Courtesy of Daniel Lailah

A sweet memory from my dad’s childhood in Jerusalem, this dessert is usually served in a large Pyrex pan, cut into squares (like the Bavarian cream) and garnished with peanuts and lots of cinnamon. Slightly different from the recipe in my first book, Sweet Secrets, this malabi is thicker and firmer, so it maintains its shape when sliced (the preparation process here is also friendlier). Malabi can be served plain (snow-white), with the different toppings in separate bowls, but for my dad, I always take the trouble to decorate it with beautiful stripes on top.

Servings & Times
Yield:
  • One 14 X 8-Inch Pan
Active Time:
  • 15 min
Ingredients

FOR THE MALABI:

1 ½ cups (200g) cornstarch

1 cup (200g) sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

8 1/3 cups (2L) milk, divided

½ cup (120ml) rose water, or ½ cup (120ml) water with 1 tsp rose extract

2 cups (480ml) whipping cream

 

FOR THE GARNISH:

1 cup (100g) roasted unsalted pistachio nuts or peanuts, chopped

1 cup (100g) desiccated coconut

2 tbsp (12g) ground cinnamon

½ cup (120g) raspberry concentrate

Steps

To make the malabi, in a big pot (not yet on the stove!), combine the cornstarch, sugar and vanilla. Add 2 cups (480ml) of the milk and whisk vigorously, until all lumps are dissolved. Add the remaining 6 1⁄3 cups (1440ml) milk, rose water and whipping cream.

Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. As soon as the mixture begins to bubble, take the pot off the heat, and pour into a 14 x 8-inch (35.5 x 20-cm) Pyrex pan. Place plastic wrap directly on the malabi to prevent a skin from forming. Cool, and put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to set.

To garnish, just before serving, lightly (between three fingertips, like you would salt), sprinkle the chopped pistachio nuts and desiccated coconut in alternating diagonal lines. Sprinkle vertical lines of cinnamon over them (see photo). This dessert is best eaten straight out of the pan, but you can cut it into squares and serve with lots of raspberry concentrate.

GRANDMA KNOWS BEST If the mixture almost reaches the boiling point, it will thicken all at once, and after cooling, the malabi will be very firm and easy to slice. If, however, the malabi did not reach the right temperature on the stove, it will be thinner and remain too soft even after cooling. In this case, the malabi can be poured into individual clear glasses and garnished.

Excerpted from Traditional Jewish Baking by Carine Goren (Page Street Publishing Co.: 2016)