July 28, 2011
It’s the Season of Jasmine. Take in a lungful and you get high. I don’t know how many Sicilians perfume their family altar with jasmine like Santina does, but I do know many use it in their cooking.
The bush I planted on the balcony two years ago has finally exploded into bloom. So I couldn’t pass up the chance to try the Jasmine Blancmange recipe from a little book called Sicily’s Favorite Recipes by Russotto and Sichel. Below is a slight adaptation.
20 jasmine flowers
500 ml (2 cups) whole milk
50 g (2 oz) white chocolate
50 g (3-4 Tbsp) cornflour/cornstarch
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar (I used more like 1/4 cup)
1. Pour the milk in a saucepan and add the jasmine. (I let the jasmine steep in milk for a while before step 2.)
2. Bring just to the boil and turn off immediately. Allow to cool and then strain, squeezing the flowers gently to extract the flavor.
3. Add the cornflour to the sugar and mix thoroughly to avoid lumps.
4. Add the grated white chocolate. (I didn’t bother to grate it–just broke it into chunks and it melted just fine.)
5. Place on the stove and stir continuously until thick. Stir briskly for one more minute after the liquid boils and then turn off.
6. Pour the mixture into molds, allow to cool, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Decorate.
YOU CAN WIN SICILY’S FAVORITE RECIPES. It’s the English translation, but recipes are in grams & liters–finding conversions on the web isn’t hard. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post or a previous one and your name will be entered in the drawing to take place at midnight EST on August 1. You need an address either in Italy or North America. Buona fortuna!