I need to be entirely honest upfront and say that the title of this recipe is a bit of a lie. I didn’t have saffron at my disposal (it’s crazily priced in the stores) so I used turmeric instead. While there is nothing quite like saffron, Google explained that turmeric would be the closest substitute). I could have titled the recipe ‘Sweet Turmeric Custard with Rose Water’ but it just doesn’t sound at all appetising (although the dessert wasn’t too bad!)
After the last ‘custard’ incident (see the Albania blog for a refresher) I’ve been super hesitant (read avoidant) to make anything custard related. I just can’t seem to get it right. I decided to give it a go anyway though, as this particular recipe (found here btw) seemed quite straightforward. And it really was. The custard turned out fine but I definitely didn’t grind the almonds enough so there was a bit of a crunch to the custard which my friends and I weren’t totally convinced about. The original write up of the recipe said the same thing, so maybe it’s just how it is meant to be. I established with my friends that the dessert is nice, but perhaps that Azerbaijan food is just not something that we’re used to. They were a totally different group to the ones who laughed at the Albanian custard and were very kind about the food. I perhaps need to reconsider which friends I make desserts for (especially custard related ones!).
I changed two things – I used Xylitol instead of sugar to make it carb friendly, and as mentioned I used turmeric instead of saffron. I think saffron may be laced with gold considering how expensive it is, and how rare it is to find in our shops.
Would I cook it again? Probably not, unless I get the custard making thing down. The flavour was delicious, but the texture wasn’t great. This being said, 2 of us ate our whole bowl and the other 2 ate at least half, so it wasn’t all that bad…at least I had brownies available too!
Oh, Azerbaijan borders Armenia, Russia, Georgia, Iran, Turkey (11km worth of border) and the Caspian Sea. The capital city is Baku. It’s quite a small little country – with a population of just under 10 million. Azerbaijan has a very strong ‘tea culture’ – sounds like a place I’d like to visit!