Mastic, or mistica, is used not only for sweets such as ice cream in
Egypt, but also in stews and soups. This simple milk pudding has
been flavoured with mastic, giving it a stronger fruity flavour, but
if you cannot find it, you can leave it out. Pour the hot pudding
into small glass cups and garnish with pomegranate seeds and
pistachios for a more colourful presentation.
Grind the mastic in a pestle and mortar. Place the milk, cream and sugar in a large pot and stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Reduce the heat to a simmer. In a cup, dissolve the cornflour in half a cup of milk and slowly pour into the hot milk. Stir frequently over a low heat for 20 minutes, or until the milk has thickened.
Stir in the rosewater essence and the ground mastic.
Pour into six individual bowls or glasses and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Toast the pistachios by placing in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and stirring for a few minutes until they turn pale golden brown. Once set, garnish the puddings with the pistachios and pomegranate seeds and a light sprinkling of ground cinnamon.