Place 1/3 of the milk into a saucepan. Add lemon peel and cinnamon sticks. Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornflour and sugar. Whisk remaining milk into the cornflour mixture. When the milk in the pan begins to simmer, pour the cornflour mixture into the saucepan in a thin steady stream. Whisk vigorously and increase heat just a bit to bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Allow the mixture to boil for about 20 seconds while continuing to whisk, then remove from heat. Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon sticks. Stir in the pinch of cinnamon and, if using, the vanilla.
Pour into a dish or mould and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Garnish with shaved chocolate just before serving.
I made the recipe exactly as stated with the exception of cooking it longer than the 20 seconds mentioned in the recipe to get the consistency I wanted. I also added the teaspoon of vanilla. This dessert is lighter than a usual pudding, and the flavor profile is mild but interesting and enjoyable. This was wonderful plain, but would be fabulous dressed with chocolate or fresh fruit. - 14 Aug 2012