In the movie Tosun Paşa, Turkish actor Kemal Sunal writes a rhyming poem for Leyla, which contains the lines:
Aşk, kalbimi yakan bir volkan gibidir,
en sevdiğim tatlı kazandibidir.
Love is like a volcano burning in my heart
My favorite dessert is "kazandibi"
Since Kemal Sunal is (in my opinion) one of the funniest people to ever live, I felt it necessary to try his favorite dessert.
Kazandibi is a relatively simple milk pudding, made more delicious by nearly burning the bottom. When you make it, the house smells like American s'mores! This is a dessert I have been wanting to make for a long time, and I was recently inspired by a New York Times post to try it out! I created this recipe by looking at theNY Times version and some Turkish recipes as well.
This recipe features two flavorings: mastic & vanilla. Mastic (damla sakızı) is dried tree sap which gives a refreshing flavor to the pudding and is used in a variety of Turkish desserts. If you don't live somewhere that it is stocked in grocery stores, you can always order it online! I also think it would be great flavored with rose water, or just simply vanilla.
Makes 10-12 servings
1/2 tablespoon butter (7 grams)
Spoonful of powdered sugar
1 small piece of mastic (~1 gram)
1 teaspoon sugar (6 grams)
1/2 cup corn starch (70 grams)
1/2 cup rice flour (80 grams)
4 1/4 cups whole milk (1 liter)
1 cup sugar (235 grams)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (1 1/4 ml)
*Optional: for a richer pudding, replace 1/4 - 1/2 cup of milk with heavy cream.
- Line the interior of a glass baking dish with butter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Use a mortar and pestle to grind the mastic with 1 teaspoon of sugar until it is broken down into fine pieces.
- In a bowl, combine corn starch and rice flour. Add 1 cup of milk to dissolve and whisk form a thick mixture.
- In a large pot over the stove, place the rest of the milk, sugar, starch/flour mixture, and crushed mastic. Cook over medium- low heat, whisking constantly, for about 10 minutes until thickens to a pudding consistency.
- Now pour the pudding into the prepared glass tray, and set over a low flame. Using oven mitts, move the tray around every minute or so when you see that a part of the bottom of the pudding has become a dark brown. Continue to move the tray around the flame so that the bottom is relatively evenly caramelized.
- Place in cold water bath or directly into the refrigerator. Eat once completely cooled (~4-5 hours), which will make removing it from the pan much easier (plus it tastes best after a few hours or even the next day).