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Umm Ali ~ Egyptian Dessert

Course Dessert
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Rafeeda


  • 400 gm pack of puff pastry sheets
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 cup pine seeds*
  • 1/2 cup cashew-nuts
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1/4 cup coconut grated
  • 500 ml pack whipping cream
  • 150 ml full fat milk
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder


  • Cook the puff pastry sheets till crisp, as per pack instructions. I baked the pasty sheets in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.
  • Meanwhile, roast the nuts (almonds to cashewnuts) in the hot oven for around 5 minutes.
  • Cool. Put the nuts into a bag and crush using a rolling pin till it breaks into bits - do not powder!
  • In a saucepan, combine the whipping cream, milk, water, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and bring to heat. Keep stirring till the sugar is melted - no need to boil, it just needs to warm. Switch off the flame.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees for around 10 minutes (the oven may already be warm from the previous puff pastry cooking).
  • In a deep glass dish, crush the puff pastry.
  • Add the crushed nuts, coconut and sultanas and mix well till evenly distributed.
  • Slowly pour the sweetened milk all over the puff pastry. Bake for 30 minutes till top is golden.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm!!!


You can replace the puff pastry with many many other options - croissants, baked bread, Millefoglie puff pastry biscuits, even cornflakes! But I assure you that puff pastry takes the dish to another level.
Adjust sugar to your requirements. 1 cup sugar was a tad on the higher side for us, just a tad...
The milk mixture is your choice - you can use a mixture of milk and condensed milk, without using the sugar. Or you can even use just milk and sugar.
I really wanted to add 1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder as well, but just missed out! Would have given a lovely flavor...
I missed to use pine nuts!!! This is a nut used in almost all Arabic baking, whether sweet or savory. Though it was not missed much as there was enough of crunch in the dessert, I would have loved to add it to give it a more authentic feel.