To someone who grew up in Sicily, Sardinia or Valley d’Aosta biancomangiare pudding unmistakably recalls to their childhood memories.
Because this simple almond milk pudding is one of best afternoon snacks for the kids. AND the adults 😉
Biancomangiare is pronounced as “bjan-ko man-ja-re” and literally translates from Italian as “white dish”.
It’s made with just 4 basic ingredients: almond milk (think diary free), corn starch (think gluten As a result you get a creamy delicious dessert ready in snap of a finger.
Let it cool in the fridge and it’s ready to serve.
Now you can go completely wild on the toppings 😋
Even though, IMHO, nothing beats traditional ones like ground pistachios or almonds, candied orange peel, grated chocolate or simply powdered cinnamon.
A little bit of history
First mentions of biancomangiare date back to pre-medieval times.
Presumably brought to Europe from arab countries it’s also know in France as blanc manger.
The term was referred to dishes that used only white color ingredients like milk, almonds rice, lard and chicken breast.
And before you think nuts about a dessert with these ingredients let me say that biancomangiare was also used to name salty dishes with the ingredients mentioned above.
Essentially white color of the dish represented purity and asceticism and was served mainly in the upper-class wealthy families.
Biancomangiare almond milk pudding dessert as we know it today is included in the list of traditional Italian foods and it protected by The Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies of Italy.
Biancomangiare is one of the ancient Italian desserts made with almond milk, corn starch, sugar cinnamon and/or lemon zest.
- 4 cups almond milk
- 1 cup corn starch or rice flour
- ½ - 1 cup sugar (start with ½ , taste, add more if needed)
- Pinch ground cinnamon and/or lemon or orange zest
- 2 tbsp orange blossom water or rose water (optional but highly recommended)
In a medium size pot add sugar and cornstarch. Whisk well.
Slowly pour in almond milk continuing to stir.
Place the pot on a stove-top over medium heat.
And don’t let the whisk go! Once the mixture starts to become warm, lower the heat and always stirring wait till it thickens.
Remove from the heat, let cool for a few minutes.
Pour into dessert glass or dessert bowls or even in decorative molds.
Let cool to room temperature and place in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
Serve chilled topped and garnished with the flavor of your choice.
If you do the molds thing make sure to quickly deep the bottoms in hot water, then unmold your binacomangiare on a dessert plate.
As an alternative you can make biancomangiare with regular milk or make your own almond milk at home.
There you have it, authentic and original Sicilian almond milk pudding that’s worth not only a treat for the kids but a simple yet sophisticated dessert for an elegant dinner.