This Recipe Makes 1 Large Casserole
I first tasted Umm Ali when I resided in the UAE (Dubai). It is mostly served at restaurants with buffets & this dessert always added that finishing touch to my meals.
There are many variations to this recipe, as it can be made with normal homemade or store bought bread, puff pastry, phyllo (filo) pastry or even croissants. For this recipe I used puff pastry for that extra richness.
Umm Ali Ingredients:
- 350 grams puff pastry
- ½ cup dried fruits
- 1 cup mixed nuts
- 1 cup white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 3 cups full cream milk
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 1 cup (250 ml) pouring cream
- 1 tin (290 grams) Nestle dessert cream
- flour for dusting
- Firstly, make sure that the puff pastry is defrosted.
- Preheat oven to 180° Celsius or 356° Fahrenheit.
- Dust some flour onto a working surface.
- Open out the puff pastry onto the floured surface.
- Cut the puff pastry into sections.
- Place the cut out puff pastry onto a lightly floured baking tray & bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Once baked, they should be golden.
- Continue the same process until all the puff pastries are baked.
- Set the baked puff pastries aside until ready to use.
- Place the dried fruits into a bowl. I used a mixture of sultanas & cranberries.
- Next, add the nuts to a bowl. I used a mixture of almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts & pecan nuts.
- Roughly chop or blend the mixed nuts.
- Break the puff pastry into small pieces & lay it at the bottom of a large oven proof casserole.
- Next, sprinkle the desiccated coconut over the pastry.
- Add all the dried fruits over.
- Thereafter, add the chopped or blended nuts over.
- Be sure to keep a little of the nuts aside for the last part of the assembling.
- Next, place a pot or saucepan on the stove-top on medium high heat. Pour in the milk.
- Add in the cinnamon powder.
- Add in the white sugar.
- Pour in the pouring cream.
- Mix well & allow the mixture to come to a boil.
- Allow the mixture to boil for 5 minutes until thicker in consistency. If it tends to foam up, quickly remove from heat & then place back onto heat. Stir to avoid it from foaming.
- After 5 minutes, remove the mixture from the heat.
- Set the milk mixture next to the assembled casserole.
- Using a ladle, pour the hot milk mixture into the casserole.
- I used Nestle cream for this next step – if it isn’t available, you may use whipped cream.
- Empty the contents of the Nestle cream into a bowl & stir until smooth.
- Spread the Nestle cream over in the casserole.
- Next, add the remaining chopped or blended nuts.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes & broil until the top is golden.
- Serve this Umm Ali hot.