What’s this? Haven’t we spent years (double figures, at that!) mentioning to you in countless articles on this blog that neither of us has a particularly sweet tooth? And now, here we are with our second Turkish dessert recipe in a row. First it was zesty revani. This time, it’s a much-loved Turkish version of a classic Rice Pudding. Here’s our Sütlaç recipe!
As a kid, one of the desserts I always really liked was rice pudding. And so, with sütlaç, there’s that feeling of comfort. And of familiarity. A sweet flavour and a creamy, milky texture that links British childhood with Turkish life today.
Skin On Top
And then there’s the oh-so-important skin on top. If there was a family gathering at her house for Sunday lunch, my great auntie would always have a huge dish of homemade rice pudding in the oven, over which a layer of dark skin would form. We would all clammer for a share of that skin in our bowls.
This Turkish sütlaç recipe doesn’t disappoint in that department!
We’re going to be making our sütlaç in a pan on the hob. And, once it’s ready, you can eat it as it is, if you like. For us, however, for sütlaç to look the part and taste the part, we need that darker layer of skin over the top.
Yes, including some burnt bits, too! Because when have you ever been into a lokanta or a patisserie in Turkey and peered into the fridge and not seen some of those tasty burnt bits on top of the sütlaç?
Sütlaç Recipe – Rice Pudding, Turkish Style
The great thing about this sütlaç recipe is that it’s just so easy! The most taxing thing you’re going to have to do is stir the ingredients in the pan so that your sütlaç doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Don’t worry if you can’t get Turkish brands. Starchy arborio is also good for sütlaç. And no need to worry about rinsing that starch away, either. We need that to help thicken our pudding.
Once our rice is cooked, it’s simply a case of mixing it with the rest of our ingredients: milk, cream, sugar and vanilla. And, of course the ingredient that thickens our sütlaç: cornstarch.
Ingredients & Method
Let’s make sütlaç – sweet comfort in a bowl…
Sütlaç Recipe - Rice Pudding, Turkish-Style
For The Rice
- 50 g short grain rice
- 110 mls water just enough to cover
For The Pudding
- 80 g sugar
- 450 mls fresh whole milk
- 100 mls double cream
- 1 dessert spoonful cornstarch
- 1 dessert spoonful vanilla extract or 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon to garnish
- Add your water and rice to a medium-sized saucepan.
- Bring the water to the boil and then simmer until the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked.
- Now add the milk, leaving a splash (around 30 mls) behind.
- Pour in the sugar and the double cream and stir together.
- Bring the mixture to the boil.
- Meanwhile, add the remainder of your milk to your cornstarch and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved.
- Turn the heat down to medium and gradually pour in your cornstarch and milk mixture, stirring constantly.
- Continue to stir your sütlaç gently for around 15 minutes until the pudding is thick and creamy.
- Share your sütlaç between 4 small, individual oven-proof bowls, dust the tops with a little cinnamon (if using) and allow to cool a little so that it sets on top.
- Preheat your grill and place your bowls of sütlaç under the heat until the top bubbles and darkens.
- Allow to cool and then place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Eat your sütlaç directly from the dish.
- Use the measurements in this sütlaç recipe as a guide. You can decide over time how starchy you like your sütlaç or how much rice to milk ratio you prefer.
- In Turkey, sütlaç is served in individual oven-proof terracotta sütlaç bowls. If you don't have small oven proof bowls, you can use foil cases.
- You can eat your sütlaç hot but it is traditionally eaten cold, straight from the fridge.
Depending on the size of your oven proof serving bowls, this sütlaç recipe will serve four people. If you want the darker skin on top – we do – place the bowls under a hot grill until the sütlaç bubbles and colours.
Either serve your sütlaç hot or enjoy it as it’s eaten in Turkey: served straight from the fridge. Refrigerate for two to three hours before eating.
And when it’s time to eat? Well how satisfying to break through that pudding skin and release the creamy white sütlaç beneath? Pure sweet comfort in a bowl…
Sütlaç Recipe – Afternotes
- Sütlaç is a quick and easy dessert to make if you already have some leftover, unseasoned rice from a previous meal.
- If you want to serve your sütlaç in the traditional Turkish way, it is served in these small, circular terracotta bowls. We have small, oven proof ramekins and pots of various shapes and sizes so we mix and match.
- Aluminium foil trays can also be used. These are also 100% recyclable.
- If you can’t get osmancık or baldo pirinç, arborio is also good for making sütlaç.
- The measurements in this sütlaç recipe are a guide. Turkish sütlaç is quite thick and creamy. You can add a little more milk or substitute the cream for more milk if you want a lighter pudding.
- If you love cooking at home, try our complete list of both sweet and savoury Turkish recipes.