Recipe: Umm Ali

This is as close as you can get to “comfort food” for dessert. It’s soothing and delicious and smells great coming out of the oven. I first tried it in Kuwait when we were there in January and I couldn’t get enough of it!

Ingredients:

  • about 350g of plain croissants, ripped into 1″ pieces
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened, desiccated coconut
  • 1 tin 300 ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split down the middle
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Directions:

  1. Combine croissant pieces, cranberries and coconut in an 8-inch souffle dish.
  2. Scrape vanilla from bean and place sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, vanilla bean and water in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat, remove vanilla bean and pour milk over the croissant mixture in the baking dish. Set them aside for 5 minutes or until croissants absorb the maximum of the liquid.
  3. Spread whipped cream with an off-set spatula in a layer on top of milk and croissants.
  4. Place the baking dish under the broiler and broil for 5 minutes or until the cream topping is golden color. Serve immediately, topped with chopped almonds or pistachios.

These would make great individual desserts, divided and baked in six-ounce ramekins.

After-Thoughts:

The original recipes all call for raisins rather than dried cranberries, but I love the way the red berries studded the pudding and shone through the cream.

These would make great individual desserts, divided and baked in six-ounce ramekins.

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