Something Nice for the Husband

Hoşmerim

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A dish of Anatolian origin, hoşmerim varies from home to home. Using whatever ingredients are at hand, it is said to be a sweet concoction designed to please the husband. This particular recipe from eastern Anatolia occasionally includes cardamom seeds. The pudding is made with an unsalted köy peyniri, or beyaz peynir, soaked in water for 24 hours to reduce the salt content. Ricotta or a soaked feta can be used as substitutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb/450 g unsalted white cheese
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 8 oz/225 g sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (optional)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400F/Mark 6/200C
  • Mash the cheese with a fork and put it into a heavy-based pan, then melt it over a gentle heat. In a separate pan, cook the flour until it turns a strong beige colour. Beat the sugar, cardamom seeds (if using), lemon juice and rind into the melted cheese and cook for 2-3 minutes. Beat in the flour and cook until the mixture thickens. Spoon it into an oven-proof dish, spread it out, and sprinkle more sugar over the top. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until well browned and firm to the touch — a hard crust should have formed on top.
  • Leave to cool and serve at room temperature.
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