Put the milk into a large heavy-based saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Have the heat very low, and the pan on a simmer mat if you have one, so that the milk is rippling rather than bubbling, to avoid the bottom catching. Cook for 30 minutes until the milk has thickened and reduced by about a third, stirring regularly to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan and burning.
Add the condensed milk and bring back to a low simmer. Mix the rice flour with the 1 tablespoon milk to dissolve it, then add to the pan. Simmer for a few minutes so that the rice flour cooks through, then stir in the rose water.
Take off the heat and stir in the cream and food coloring (or flowers). Leave to cool completely.
Strain to remove the flowers, if using, then pour into a freezer container and place in the freezer until just set but still soft. Blitz with a hand-held blender until smooth. Return to the freezer and repeat this step once more. Freeze until set firm, or spoon into small individual molds before freezing for the final time.
About this recipe
“Hot, or cold, rose milk is wonderful, so this mixture might not even make it to the freezer. If you don’t have a simmer mat, you will have to watch the milk like a hawk. I add a few drops of red food coloring, as I think rose milk does need to be a pale shade of pink. If you have some red edible flowers (for example, certain species of hibiscus), then use those. Serve plain or with chopped pistachios.” -- from Provence to Pondicherry: Recipes from France and Faraway by Tessa Kiros, photos by Manos Chatzikonstantis.
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