Um Ali - Egyptian Bread Pudding
Truth be told, I did not know about this till a few days ago when I asked on my Facebook timeline on what to post on U conveniently forgetting the huge array of Upside down cakes that can be baked, well I guess we are all allowed some dumb days aren't we. The minute I heard about the upside down cakes, there was a flood of ideas in my head, should it be the comforting apple cinnamon upside down or the peach and basil upside down I make or the plum and chilli that no one seems to get enough but then a friend of mine mentioned Um Ali, an Egyptian bread pudding which sounded something right out of heaven.
Um Ali literally means by "Ali's mother" and it is a delicious dessert with fantastic textures. The crunch of the nuts and the creaminess of the bread pudding compliment each other so well. Apart from the addition of nuts, another major difference between this and the standard bread pudding is the fact that Um Ali use puff pastry or filo sheets rather than the bread used by it's American cousin and the result is quite delightful and much richer than the bread pudding. There is also no egg in the recipe and to my taste buds it felt like a triangular cross between a pyasam, bread pudding and baklava. A delightful cross though.
I am looking forward to serving this at one of the parties soon, till then here is the recipe for you guys
Recipe adapted from Honest Cooking
Um Ali, Egyptian Bread Pudding
- Pre heat the oven to 180C for 20 minutes.
- Line the filo pastry sheets and bake till crisp for 15 minutes, set aside for cooling
- Mix together milk, butter, cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, rose petals, saffron and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and set aside for cooling.
- Once both the milk and pastry sheets are cooler, in a large baking dish break half the pastry into smaller pieces and spread. Sprinkle dry fruits and nuts and cover with the rest of the pastry.
- Now using a laddle, pour the milk mixture evenly over the pastry. Let it sit for 10 minutes so that most of the liquid gets absorbed.
- Bake at 220 C for about 20 minutes.
- Serve warm or cold topped with some more rose petals and nuts
1. It is traditionally made with puff pastry sheets but I am just about recovering from fever and had no strength to make puff pastry, besides it is not easy in Bangalore to get ready made puff pastry so I used filo, if you can get puff pastry please use that, something tells me results will be even delightful
2. I added the butter in the recipe to compensate for the fat, which the original didn't have since I wasn't using the puff pastry but filo, if you are using a puff pastry skip the butter.
3. If you can lay your hands on unsalted khari, this would be great to bake with that. Just start from step 3.
PS: I was down with fever and hence lagging behind in posts but trying to catch up so stay tuned