Mahallepi – Mastic flavored Cream with Pistachios

IMG_8675Pistachios, mastic, orange-blossom water. If you love these flavours as much as I do, this is the summeriest of all desserts. Lebanese “mahallepi” as we call it in Cyprus, is a luscious, aromatic, eggless cream, usually served in individual portions with a light syrup. This recipe however has a hidden base of a syrup soaked pistachio sponge.

IMG_8600It was my sister Myranda who gave me the recipe for this delicious creamy dessert. It takes less than an hour to put together plus overnight chilling time. It never fails to wow guests. Plus, it keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you love middle eastern flavours, you will love this.


For the syrup

  • 125 ml water
  • 120 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp mastic tears, crushed in a mortar and pestle with 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbs orange blossom water

 For the base

  • 180 grams unsalted pistachios
  • 80 grams sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt

For the cream

  • 1500 ml whole milk
  • 100 grams corn flour
  • ½ tsp mastic tears, crushed in a mortar and pestle with 1 tsp sugar
  • 180 grams granulated sugar
  • 250 ml cream (36% fat)
  • 1 Tbs orange blossom water
  • Crushed pistachios for sprinkling


Preheat oven at 175 C, fan.

First make the syrup by mixing all ingredients together in a saucepan, except the orange blossom water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Take off the heat and add the orange blossom water. Set aside to cool completely (refrigerate for speed).

Make the base by crushing the pistachios in a food processor together with the salt and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Don’t over process. You don’t want pistachio paste, only finely ground pistachios.

Beat eggs and remaining sugar in a mixer bowl for 10 minutes, until light fluffy, creamy and triple in volume. Did I say 10 minutes? Yes, I did.

Fold pistachios in the egg mixture trying not to deflate it too much. Transfer mixture in a 20 x 30 ceramic or glass baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Immediately pour over the cold syrup. Let it stand for 10 minutes.

To make the cream, dissolve corn-flour in a about ½ cup of the cold milk. Put remaining milk, sugar, crushed mastic and dissolved corn flour in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Cream will thicken. Add the cream and cook stirring 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and add the orange blossom water.

Pour hot cream over pistachio base. While cream is hot, sprinkle liberally the surface with chopped pistachios. Let cream cool and then transfer to the fridge to chill for several hours.

Serve chilled.


Note on serving. If you want to serve this dessert in a fancy bowl that doesn’t happen to be oven proof, then you can bake the base (use a buttered greaseproof paper to line the base of the pan), apply the syrup and transfer it to your fancy bowl. The base is very fragile and it will most probably break. This however will not affect your dessert since you will pour the cream on top. I find it more convenient to bake and serve in the same bowl.

4 thoughts on “Mahallepi – Mastic flavored Cream with Pistachios

    1. I am so sorry – I have just seen the answer hidden between photos! I am looking forward to trying this…I love levaneziko, but have never made one with a base!


Leave a Reply to anna Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s