Milk pudding with labne, apricot and Turkish fairy floss

Milk pudding with labne, apricot and Turkish fairy floss

Lisa Cohen and William Meppem

This is the classic milk pudding recipe, which I’ve tweaked by adding strained yoghurt to give it a lovely tang.

Turkish or Persian fairy floss is the super-sophisticated cousin of the familiar fairground sugary confection. You’ll find it in a range of different flavours in Middle Eastern food stores and some upmarket delis. As well as looking spectacular, its delicate texture and melting sweetness are irresistible to young and old alike.


Quantity Ingredient
4 grains mastic
120g caster sugar
1/3 cup cornflour
1 litre full-cream milk
long strip peel from 1/2 lemon
long strip peel from 1/2 orange
30ml orange-blossom water
200g thick natural yoghurt, strained, (see note)
orange-flavoured turkish or persian fairy floss, to garnish

Apricot purée

Quantity Ingredient
300g amardine sheets
150ml water
70g caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Grind the mastic with 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar in a mortar, then mix with the remaining sugar and cornflour in a bowl. Stir in 100 ml of the milk to make a paste.
  2. Put the rest of the milk into a large, heavy-based saucepan, then whisk in the paste until smooth. Add the citrus peels and bring to the boil, whisking continuously, then lower the heat. Simmer for 4–5 minutes, whisking continuously to make sure it doesn’t catch and burn.
  3. Remove from the heat, then strain into a bowl and cool in a sink of iced water, whisking continuously so that the mixture becomes light and fluffy. When the mixture cools to blood temperature, stir in the orange-blossom water, then fold in the strained yoghurt. Spoon into serving glasses and refrigerate until chilled.
  4. To make the apricot purée, put the amardine, water and sugar into a heavy-based saucepan and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the amardine softens and dissolves to a thickish, smooth consistency. Tip into a vitamiser and whiz to a smooth purée. For an even smoother consistency, pass the purée through a fine sieve, if you like. Stir in the lemon juice.
  5. Spoon a little of the purée onto the milk puddings and keep chilled until ready to eat. Serve garnished with a top-knot of fairy floss.


  • To strain the yoghurt, spoon it into a clean muslin or cheesecloth square or tea towel. Tie the four corners together and suspend the bundle from a wooden spoon over a deep bowl. Refrigerate overnight to drain. (You can use the strained yoghurt in other savoury or sweet recipes, and flavour accordingly. It best made in batches of around 1 kg.)
Middle Eastern
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