BM# 75: A-Z Bake Around the World: Day 21
Bake of the Day: U for Umm Ali
Today I have an absolutely delicious dessert from Egypt called Umm Ali. It is the national dish of Egypt and it is very similar to bread pudding made with puff pastry or phyllo dough or stale bread. It has a condensed milk base and dry fruits like almonds, pistachios, cashews and raisins are added for crunch.Umm Ali which means Mother of Ali has some very interesting but differing stories about the history of this dish. One gory version involves a murder and this dish being made as a celebratory offering. A not so violent story is about a cook called Umm Ali making this dish to feed a hungry Sultan (aka king)and the dish was so well received that it was named after the creator.There are a ton of recipes online of Umm Ali that are made with freshly baked puff pastry or phyllo pastry or store-bought palmiers or croissants. I made mine with regular sized store bought croissants to make 4 servings. Recipe is from Nestle site.
Unlike the traditional bread pudding made with eggs, this recipe doesn’t have any eggs in it which is perfect for vegetarians. The croissants are soaked in a warm milk and condensed milk mixture and layered with dry fruit. I flavored with milk with some rose water to give the dish a Middle Eastern flair. Umm Ali is then baked until bubbly and golden.I started the dish in a 375°F oven and baked them for 20~25 minutes, then broiled the top until nicely golden. Umm Ali is best eaten warm but refrigerated the leftovers and ate them the next day and it tasted pretty good to me.Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75.
- 2 Croissants, chopped
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- ¼ cup Sweetened Condensed milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp Rosewater
- 1 tbsp Sliced Almonds
- 1 tbsp Pistachios
- 1 tbsp Dry grated Coconut
- 1 tbsp Raisins
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp Confectioners Sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a small saucepan, bring the milk, condensed milk, vanilla extract, rosewater to a boil. Turn off the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes.
- Toast the nuts, coconut and raisins until nicely golden.
- Divide the chopped croissants between 4 individual ramekins (about 6~7oz.) or a bigger baking dish. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the croissants. Top with the toasted nuts. Let the croissants soak up with milk for a few minutes.
- In the meantime, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Evenly spread it over the croissant mixture.
- Bake for 20~25 minutes or until the mixture is nice and bubbly.
- Turn on the broiler -- leave the door slightly open and broil for 1~2 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm.