Desserts are my Achilles Heel. I can control all my food cravings but desserts. Earlier, at least I used to try or rather make an attempt to control it. These days, I don't even bother!
So, one of these days when I had a sweet craving, I ended up with this recipe. It's my favorite Middle Eastern dessert recipe. I think this is the first dessert recipe I tried in Bahrain and it still continues to be my favorite.
For the short time, I worked in Bahrain, our company meetings used to be in Sheraton hotel. The meetings ended with a buffet lunch from there and I used to wait for lunchtime because Umm Ali is a given in any buffet.
Over the years, I've tasted Umm Ali from different places, but Sheraton's Umm Ali continues to hold a special place. It was perfect in every sense. It's warm, gooey, a bit saucy with a hint of cinnamon, and mildly sweet. It always made me feel as if being wrapped in my fav cozy blanket.
I would not say this Umm Ali is the same as Sheraton's or better than that, but it's kinda close to it. I did enjoy having this warm dessert on a rainy day, it's a beautiful way to end your meal.
Also, if you are using frozen puff pastry, it's so quick and easy to make this. The only thing is it needs to be served warm, otherwise the puff pastry tends to absorb all the sauce.
Please do read the ‘the notes” section.
Recipe from here
Here is the recipe…
- 4 Puff pastry squares (I used standard size Switz frozen puff pastry squares (can also use ready-baked))
- 2 tbsp Raisins
- 2 tbsp Coconut flakes (I didnt add this)
- 2 tbsp Pistachios roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp Walnuts, roughly chopped
- ½ cup Full fat milk
- ½ cup Whipping/heavy cream
- 3 tbsp Sweetened condensed milk (refer notes)
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon powder
- If using frozen puff pastry, bake it as per package instructions. Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle. You can do this ahead of time.
- Preheat oven to 180 C (if not already on for pastry).
- Grease an 8- inch baking dish with butter. Break up the pastry into roughly bite-size pieces. Put the pieces in the baking dish and sprinkle over the raisins, coconut, pistachio, and walnut pieces.
- Mix together the milk, cream, condensed milk and cinnamon powder. Pour the mixture over the pastry and nut mixture. Try to press the pastry down in to the liquid a little, or else toss the pieces so most if not all take in some of the liquid.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes until the liquid is bubbling up slightly and the top is gently brown. You can eat this both warm or cooled.