MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.04
  Categories: Desserts, Italian
       Yield: 8 Servings
 MMMMM-----------------------CUSTARD CREAM----------------------------
      60    Pistachio nuts
            Coarse-grained salt
       5    Extra-large eggs
       8 tb Sugar
       1 c  Heavy cream; cold
     1/2 c  Milk; lukewarm
       2 tb Rosewater
       1 lb Couscous (not instant)
       1 c  Water; cold
     1/2 ts Salt
 MMMMM----------------------FOR THE STEAMER---------------------------
   3 1/2 c  Flour
       1 c  Water; cold
 MMMMM-------------------TO FLAVOR THE COUSCOUS------------------------
       2 tb Sugar
       1 ts Confectioners' sugar
       5 dr Vanilla extract
       2 oz Semisweet chocolate
       3 oz Almonds; toasted
       2 oz Candied citron
       2 oz Candied orange peel
   In Sicily, couscous is even a dessert, incorporating the age-old
   Mediterranean almonds, rosewater, pistachio nuts, candied citron, and
   orange peel as well as chocolate and custard cream, which most likely
   were added in later centuries.
   Prepare the custard cream. Blanch the pistachio nuts in a pan of
   boiling water with coarse salt added (otherwise the nuts will turn
   yellow). Dry the nuts with paper towels, then finely chop them on a
   board or grind them in a food processor. Place the egg yolks in a
   medium-sized crockery or glass bowl, add the sugar, and use a wooden
   spoon to mix the sugar into the yolks until they turn a lighter
   color. Slowly add the cream, then the lukewarm milk, mixing steadily.
   Add the chopped nuts and the rosewater, and mix very well. Place in
   the top of a double boiler.
   Bring water to a boil in the bottom of the double boiler. When the
   water begins to boil, insert the top, making sure the water does not
   touch it, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, always in the same
   direction. When the cream coats the spoon, just before it boils
   (absolutely do not allow the cream to boil), remove the top of the
   double boiler from the heat and continue to stir the contents for 1
   minute more. Transfer the custard to an empty wine bottle (to keep
   skin from forming), cork it, and refrigerate until needed.
   Prepare the couscous: Spread out the grain on a large serving platter
   or cookie sheet. Dissolve the salt in a small bowl with 1 cup of the
   water. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the salted water on the grain, then
   use the fingers of one hand to rub some grains against the palm
   itself, using a rotating motion to incorporate the water evenly into
   the grain. Keep repeating this with additinal teaspoons of salted
   water and grains until you have used up 1/4 cup of water and the
   couscous is evenly wet all over. Spread the grain evenly over a
   cotton dish towel and let rest for 1 hour.
   Put 8 cups of water in stockpot. Put a strainer or steamer which fits
   snuggly over stockpot. Using the flour and a cup of cold water,
   prepare a thcik dough to seal the area connecting the two halves of
   the steamer. Roll this dough into a thick rope long enough to fit
   around the perimeter of the pot. Using the rope of dough, cover the
   circle where the top and bottom parts of the steam meet to seal it.
   Place the steamer over medium heat, and when the water reaches a boil
   and the steam begins to rise through the holes of the strainer, add
   the couscous grain. (It is also convenient to spread a cheesecloth
   over the strainer holes to facilitate removing the steamed grains.)
   Cover tightly with a lid and steam for 30 minutes.
   Spoon out the couscous onto a large platter and start rubbing the
   grains between the palms of your hands, incorporating the remaining
   3/4 cup of salted water, little by little to separate any that have
   stuck together and to retain an even and uniform consistency of
   individual grains. Let the couscous rest for 1 hour until cool.
   Mix the granulated and confectioners' sugar with the vanilla in a
   large bowl. Cut the chocolate into pieces the size of half an almond.
   Cut the toasted almonds in half and the candied fruit into pieces the
   same size. Add the couscous, chocolate, and almonds to the bowl with
   the sugar and mix very well. Transfer the couscous to a large serving
   platter and arrange it in one thick layer. Pour the cooled custard
   cream over the couscous and serve, spooning out the sweet grain
   topped with custard sauce.
   Source: “Bugialli on Pasta” by Giuliano Bugialli