In history, the blancmange it was a savory preparation, made with turkey or chicken meat, rice flour diluted in goat, sheep or almond milk and cooked for a long time, until the liquid had thickened. There was also a version in which the chicken was replaced by fish such as pike or trout. In the seventeenth century, biancomangiare became a soup and also a milk-based sauce with which to season boiled meats. The hallmark of all these recipes was the white color of the ingredients.
Blanc manger, the name with which it is mostly identified currently, hides a French origin. From France then it would spread throughout the West, becoming a sweet and no longer salty preparation, a almond and fresh cream base.
The Sicilian version
This dessert is part of traditional Sicilian sweets, and its origin dates back to the Arab domination of the island. The famous ones are used here Noto almonds, very fragrant, and, in the Platani Valley, orange or lemon zest is also added to the milk, for a fresher flavor. In the province of Ragusa, on the other hand, Mangiarbianco is served with drops of local honey.
The recipe for blancmange
200 g peeled almonds – 150 g sugar – 500 ml fresh milk – 500 ml fresh cream – 16 g fish glue – 1 tablespoon of Cointreau
First heat the milk in a saucepan without boiling it. In a mortar, chop the almonds until they become a grain. If you prefer, you can use a mixer. Add the sugar to the almonds and pour everything into the milk. Masculate well and leave to infuse for a whole night. After this time, filter the milk with a tea towel. In a bowl, soak the gelatine in cold water and, when it is soft, squeeze it and add it to the almond-flavored milk. Put the milk again in a saucepan to heat, until the gelatine has completely dissolved. Wait for the mixture to cool and then add the spoonful of liqueur. Meanwhile, whip the fresh cream until stiff and then, with a spatula, add it to the milk, mixing from the bottom upwards, making sure that it is not disassembled. At this point, pour the blancmange into a container and leave to cool in the fridge for 4 hours before serving. You can pour it in individual cups, for a more elegant table.