Um Ali literally means by “Ali’s mother” and it is a delicious dessert from Egypt. A cross between Baklava and bread pudding, the creaminess and the crunch of nuts makes it absolutely worth those calories!
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.
I mean imagine a cross between Baklava from middle east and bread pudding from American, doesn’t it sound droolworthy? I knew that upside down cake had to take a back seat and it will have to be Um Ali for U.
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 payasam, 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
- 6 filo sheets of pastry
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2.5 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 3/4 cup cream
- strands saffron few
- 1 tbsp rose petals dried
- 1/4 cup pistachio flakes
- 1/4 cup almond flakes
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup cashews chopped
- 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
I tried it with croissants and it was delightful. I ussully only get this dessert when in Egypt, it’s so lovely to be able to make it and enjoy it any time!
Try using khari biscuit. It is made of puff pastry and will soak up the liquid much better making it decadent