Fahad Inc. Dishes

    Um Ali ~ Bread Pudding

    This has become one of the best known desserts in the UAE and quite literally means 'the queen of puddings'. A particular favourite during Ramadan, it has its roots in Egypt, yet the local cook has adapted it to ingredients more common to this area. Although demanding more ingreedients than most local desserts, it is, however, simple to prepare.
    For the puff pastry: make as below or subtitute with an 8oz (225 gms) pack of frozen puff pastry.

    4 cups milk
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla essence
    1/2 cup walnuts
    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup pine nuts
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 cup single cream

    Pastry:
    1 cup self raising flour
    1/2 cup teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup lard (excluding hog lards)
    3/4 cup cold water

    Mix flour and salt in a basin. Cut lard into small pieces and mix with flour, using a knife (don't rub lard in); mix into a stiff paste with cold water. Turn on to a floured bread and roll out to a narrow strip. Fold into three, turn one of the open ends towards you and roll again. Do this three times. Roll for the final time into a rectangle. Always take care to roll away from you and do not break the air bubbles which give the dough its rising capabilities.
    Make pastry as above, bake in a hot over until it is golden and has risen, then cool. Separate layers into three equal parts. Sprinkle the layers with nuts and raisins, then place in a greased casserole dish.
    Boil milk, sugar and cream and when it begins to bubble, add cinnamon and vanilla. Remove from heat, then pour the hot mixture over the puff pastry and bake for an hour in a medium to hot oven. The top should be golden brown. Serve warm with fresh cream.

    From the book "The Complete United Arab Emirates Cookbook"
    by Celia Ann Brock- Al Ansari
    Copyright © 1994 by Celia Ann Brock-Al Ansari


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