Bianco mangiare (a traditional blancmange)

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Biancomangiare (a traditional blancmange made with almond milk)

This dessert has clear Arab origins and is traditional in Sicily, Sardinia and the Val d’Aosta. It is generally made with cow’s milk but in the Sicilian county of Modica it is made with almond milk.

  • Yield: 6-8


  • 1 litre (2 pints) cow’s milk or almond milk
  • 150 g sugar
  • 125 g cornstarch (or potato starch)
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • Lemon zest – a large strip
  • Blanched almonds
  • Dried rose petals or edible flowers


  1. Dissolve the starch in a little milk, mixing well to avoid lumps.
  2. When it is completely dissolved, add the rest of the milk, the sugar, the vanilla pod and the lemon zest.
  3. On a very low flame, bring the milk to a gentle boil and keep mixing all the time while the mixture becomes thicker, until it has the consistency of custard.
  4. Turn off the heat and let it cool down, whisking occasionally to prevent a skin forming. If necessary, use an immersion blender. S
  5. When the blancmange is room temperature, pour it into small individual glass serving dishes and refrigerate.
  6. Take out of the fridge ten minutes before serving.
  7. Garnish with lightly toasted almond slices (or chopped pistachio nuts) and rose petals.

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