If you read our cooking adventures from my son’s Cultural Geography class, you know he ignored my suggestions on countries I told him to research. Instead, he chose different ones, leaving me to prepare recipes from these countries. We’ve made Icelandic Chocolate Pikes and Copycat Tortuga Rum Cakes from the Virgin Islands.
When he asked which African country he should research, I replied, “I have no idea.” “I will choose Egypt,” he said. “That one will be easy to research.” Easy to research, maybe. Easy to find a simple dessert recipe to represent the country? Not so much. “I want to make Kakh cookies,” he told me, “They look easy.” One look at the ingredient list was enough to convince me they did NOT look easy. How many people have rose water or orange blossom water in their pantry? We (meaning I, who has to make the recipes) decided to make an Egyptian Um Ali Recipe.”
Here’s how to make the Egyptian Um Ali Recipe
This is similar to Bread Pudding in the US and is made with nuts, phyllo dough, and raisins. While the dish said it should be served warm, we all decided we liked the taste better when it was cold. It is not a super sweet dessert and is perfect to serve with a cheese tray or fruit. This can also be made gluten-free by susbstituting gluten-free phyllo dough.
Step by Step Directions
Begin by lightly browning your phyllo dough in the oven. While the phyllo is browning, mix together the milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Place the milk mixture into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Spread one layer of the phyllo along the bottom of a greased baking dish.
Spread the raisins and nuts evenly over the phyllo dough and top with 1/2 the milk mixture. Add another layer of phyllo and cover with the rest of the milk mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting.
- 1 package Phyllo Dough
- ½ cup EACH: raisins, chopped Pecans and chopped pistachios |
- 4 cups Milk
- ½ cup Cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ) Unroll the phyllo dough and place on a baking sheet, Cook, until browned, in a 350 degree oven. This will probably take 8-10 minutes
- ) Coat a 9” by 13” baking dish with cooking spray. Place a thin layer of phyllo dough onto the bottom of the dish, making sure the bottom is completed covered.
- ) Top the phyllo with the raisins and nuts. Make sure the raisin/nut mixture is spread evenly.
- ) Bring the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon to the boil.
- ) Pour ½ the milk mixture over the nut/raisin mixture. Top with another layer of phyllo dough.
- ) Pour the rest of the milk mixture over the phyllo dough. Top with a very thin layer of phyllo dough.
- ) Bake at 350 degrees until browned on the top. This should take about 30 minutes
Do you have a favorite Egyptian or Middle Eastern Dish? Let me know. I look forward to trying more.