Do you know how to cook Biancomangiare, the Sicilian white pudding? And why is it called that way? The origin of this delicious dessert is told by the expert journalist and writer from Palermo Gaetano Basile. The recipe dates back to the middle age period and the word "Biancomangiare" (literally white food) comes from the French expression 'bland manger', which meant mild simple dishes, something that patients in hospital or people with stomachache could eat: like rice and chicken.
However, when the recipe was imported here people started to call it blanc manger because of the assonance between bland (simple) and blanc (white) thinking that the name blanc manger was actually referred to the color of the dish. So in Italian the expression in one word became: "Biancomangiare" and started to spread as a sweet pudding done with all white ingredients: milk, cornstarch and sugar... and we still prepare it this way!
Ingredients & Preparation: 1lt milk - 6 tbs cornstarch - 4 tbs sugar - cinnamon (both powder and bark) - grated orange zest - Use pistaches and almonds or orange leaves for garnish
In a saucepan mix the cornstarch with the sugar. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly better if using a whisk to eliminate possible lumps, then add a tea spoon of cinnamon powder and 3 or 4 pieces of crumbled bark.
Place the saucepan on a medium heat, add the orange zest and keep stirring until the mixture becomes creamy and smooth and starts to boil.
Then remove from heat and place it in a silicon baking tray or in small individual bowls. Let them chill half an hour (one hour if you pour the pudding into one big tray) and put them in the fridge. Once they are cold and firm you can transfer them in plates for dessert and garnish however you like: using chopped pistaches and almonds, just with some more cinnamon and orange zest on top or simply with orange leaves. In any case it will be absolutely yummy. Enjoy!
PS - It's good to know that there are some people who do a richer version of this recipe adding fish-glue or almond flour, but also cookies or sponge at the bottom, but we never did it in my family. Actually what I love the most about this pudding it's the fact that is light and simple, but still extremely tasty and easy to prepare. Hope you like it too! ;)