Um Ali has been a family favourite for years now! I remember the first time I came across it was when my family and I were in Turkey and my mum, grandma and aunty were dying over the fact that our hotel was serving it for breakfast. Back then I was about 9 and I did not like it at all ha! I was a pretty fussy eater back in the day and I am pleased to say that 13 years later, I have grown to love it! My aunty makes a great Um Ali and I had to get the recipe from her to share it with you.
For those of you who don’t know, Um Ali is a luxuriously creamy dessert and it’s basically the Egyptian version of bread pudding. It is traditionally made with pastry or bread, which can often become soggy so my aunty uses croissants instead! The croissants are soaked in a creamy mixture that’s flavoured with cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla, making it really aromatic and heart warming!
The recipe includes condensed milk making it sweet, creamy, andddd a little fattening *oops*!
The croissants are soaked in a creamy mixture and layered with almonds, pistachios, desiccated coconut and raisins.
It’s then baked and out comes a really impressive dessert. The layers of the croissants combined with the creamy sweet mixture and slight crunch of the nuts give the dish lots of wonderful textures. I would highly recommend you to try it out as it’s delicious and surprisingly really easy to make! Be sure to send me a picture if you make it!
- 8 large croissants
- 2 pints whole milk
- 1 tin sweetened condensed milk (I use the Nestle Carnation condensed milk - 397g tin)
- 1 tub of double cream (I use the Elmea double cream - 284ml)
- 2 pinch cardamon powder
- 1 pinch cinnamon powder
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Handful of desiccated coconut
- Handful of almond flakes
- Handful of pistachios
- Handful of raisins
- In a pan add the whole milk, condensed milk, cardamon powder, vanilla essence and cinnamon powder. Allow to boil for a couple of minutes. Stir and make sure the mixture does not burn.
- After it boils add in the cream and allow to boil again. Once boiled, remove from heat.
- Break 8 large croissants into pieces. Grease a large dish with butter and make one layer of croissant pieces.
- Sprinkle raisins, almond flakes, desiccated coconut and pistachio.
- Pour half the milk mixture over the first layer of croissants.
- Make a second layer of croissants and pour remaining half of milk mixture.
- Top with a sprinkle of almond flakes, raisins, pistachios and desiccated coconut at the very top. Sprinkle very lightly with a small amount of cinnamon powder (optional).
- Bake in the oven for approx 20-25 mins at gas mark 4/180 degrees or until the dish is slightly toasted.