Malabi (Milk Custard with Orange Brandy Sauce)

Quentin Bacon

Be your own Balaboosta and serve malabi at your next dinner party. It's a milk custard thickened with cornstarch and topped with an orange marmalade and brandy sauce that tastes as beautiful as it looks.

Tips & Tweaks: The reason the recipe says to use cups to chill and serve the dish is because the cornstarch used to thicken the custard isn't enough to keep it standing on its own. So don't fret if yours seems a little runny; it's meant to be that way.

Excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Quentin Bacon.

Recipe Facts



Total: 0 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • Malabi
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rose water
  • Orange Brandy Sauce
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • Peanuts or pistachios (optional)
  • Sweetened coconut flakes (optional)


  1. For the Malabi: Combine the milk, cream, and sugar in a large pot over medium heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from the heat. While you’re waiting for your milk not to boil over, dissolve the cornstarch in the water. When the milk comes to a boil, quickly whisk in the cornstarch along with the rose water and immediately remove from the heat.

  2. Pour the malabi into four individual serving cups or ramekins and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

  3. For the Sauce: Mix together the marmalade and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer and reduce to a little more than half, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often to prevent the bottom from burning and the mixture from boiling over. If the foam looks like it’s about to flow over, simply remove the saucepan from the heat for a few seconds and give it a quick stir before placing it back over the heat.

  4. When the mixture has a thick, syruplike consistency, stir in the brandy and cook for another 5 minutes.

  5. Remove the sauce from the heat and let cool in the refrigerator until ready to use. Just put it back on the stove over low heat and your sauce will melt right back to an ooey-gooey consistency.

  6. To Serve: Serve the malabi straight from the cups with a generous drizzle of the orange marmalade sauce and throw in a handful of chopped peanuts or pistachios and coconut flakes if you wish.

Special equipment

ramekins, saucepan,