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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Umm Ali- The Food of the Gods

I absolutely adore good food, and so I will periodically share my favorite recipes. This one is a traditional Arab desert popular in various Middle Eastern countries. It's served warm and is rather reminiscent of a bread pudding. It's translation means "Ali's Mother".

1 package of frozen puff pastry (17 ounces)
1 15 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
3 cups water
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup pistachios, shelled, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sultanas or golden raisins
1/2 - 3/4 cups coconut flakes (depending on taste)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll puff pastry sheets and place on greased baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes. You want the puff pastry to be golden and puffed. Remove from oven. Do not turn oven off or change the temp. Break puff pastry into small pieces (about 1-2 inches). Add nuts, sultanas/raisins and coconut and be sure that they are mixed well and evenly distributed. Place nuts and bread in a very lightly greased 9x12 baking dish. In a saucepan, heat sweetened milk, vanilla, and water on medium heat. Allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat then allow to cool. Pour milk over puff pastry/nut mixture. Pour creme on top and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

I like to turn the oven to "broil" for the last two minutes to give a nice golden brown color to the top.

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