Sunday, 25 August 2013

Umm Ali


I have featured this dessert before; I first made it back in July 2008 after my job had taken me on a trip to Qatar and I sampled dessert heaven.  Sorry if you’ve seen it before, but I suspect most of my current readers weren’t with me back then.

This is a perfect dessert in many respects – it has texture, creaminess, and that stomach-filling quality that all good stodgy desserts should have.  Imagine a bread and butter pudding but without the greasy butteriness and a bit of crunch from nuts and you’re pretty close to this. I love the vanilla and pistachio heady scent released on baking - it's so fragrant.

Last time, when baking the sheet of puff pastry, I forgot to fork it to stop it puffing up too much.  I remembered this time didn’t seem to make much of a difference:

At first, it feels strange to cut up cooked puff pastry (the bottom corner is missing – Mr CC is thorough in his quality control):

Any leftovers can be reheated or eaten cold.  The creamy mix is effectively a panna cotta sans gelatine and baked rather than set.  It is important to let the creamy mix soak into the pastry.  Here it is pre-soaking:

Here it is post-soaking.  Quite a difference:

I don’t feature many things on my site twice...but goodness me, this one is worth it!


250g baked and crushed puff pastry (I used ready-made)
50g sliced almonds, plus some extra for sprinkling on top
30g chopped pistachios
30g chopped pine nuts or raisins/sultanas
600ml whipping cream
200ml milk
50g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod


Roll the puff pastry out until it’s about 0.5cm thick.  Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper or non-stick foil.

Prick it all over with a fork.

Bake the puff pastry according to the instructions on the packet. Mine required 15-20 minutes at 220°C/fan oven 200°C/425°F/Gas mark 7.

Cut the cooked puff pastry into small squares and place in a 20cm ovenproof dish. My dish was a ceramic lasagne dish and the sides were sloped so that the top of the dish was bigger. If your dish has straight sides you might want to use one slightly bigger than 20cm.

Scatter over the nuts and raisins.

Preheat the oven to 250°C/fan oven 230°C/500°F/Gas mark 10.

Put 300ml of the whipping cream, the milk, sugar and vanilla pod (cut and scrape the seeds out) into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

As soon as it starts to boil, remove from the heat and pour, through a sieve, over the pastry in the bowl. Tidy up the pastry so that it is all covered by the cream – when you pour it over, it can get disturbed.

Leave to soak for 5 minutes.  You can make it up to this point several hours in advance of cooking.  Place it in the fridge if it’s more than a couple of hours ahead of time.

Whip the remaining cream (300ml) and spoon onto the creamy pastry mix.

Bake until golden brown and bubbling at the edges – this will take approximately 15 minutes.

Scatter some chopped nuts over the top. I used almonds.

Allow to cool slightly before serving.

It is nice to have some additional cream to pour over – this is optional.

Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.



Miss C Flash said...

Wow, this is a very exotic looking dish, reminds me of baklava, looks delicious c

Gloria Baker said...

this look really delicious! and love pistachios:)

Anonymous said...

yumm,we have chanced over this dish earlier but seriously your version looks just supremely delicious
,gooey,melty and completely irresistible... :-)

Katie said...

How unusal. A sort of cross between bread and butter pudding, rice pudding and baklava. Sounds delicious.

I love going away and being influenced by the dishes I taste

Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said...

It looks fab, and if it is worth repeating than it must be good.

What a diligent quality control tester MrCC makes!

Stuart Vettese said...

Very fancy!
Not a huge lover of puff, but I would certainly give this a go CC

Cakelaw said...

This looks amazing! I have never heard of this dessert before, but it looks very special.

Lucy said...

This sounds really interesting - I love finding completely new bakes to try.

Cher My Cakes said...

Never heard of this dish before but looks lovely!

Maggie said...

Any dessert which uses pistachios is worth making twice.

snowy said...

Looks really interesting and exotic. Lovely flavours.

Baking Addict said...

It must be well worth it to be featured twice. Looks delicious!

Choclette said...

I don't know how I missed this, it sounds like my sort of pud - you had me at stodge ;-)