Om Ali (C.1500s, Egypt)


The creamy, vanilla bread pudding Om Ali, from Medieval Egypt is delicious and has not gone out of fashion.

Ingredients: (Serves six)

1 pack (10 small square slices) puff pastry
4 and 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup whipping or single cream
1/2 cup and 1 tbsp double cream
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pistachio
1/4 cup sultanas
1/4 cup desiccated coconut

  1. Allow the puff pastry to defrost, and cut into ten small squares. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees.
  2. With the pastry slices in a dish, place in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown, then let cool.
  3. In a pot, put on a low heat and simmer milk, whipping/single cream, sugar, and spices. Don’t forget the vanilla essence and double cream, then take off the heat.
  4. Break up the puff pastry, and half into two batches. Put one half in your main baking dish, and sprinkle with the nuts and coconut, then top with the other half of puff pastry.
  5. Slowly add the milk mixture, until it covers the pastry. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, if it doesn’t need more milk to cover, it can go straight in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes at 220 degrees. Finish with a few minute broil for a golden top. Serve hot!

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