Om Ali or Umm Ali is the Egyptian equivalent to the western bread pudding. A traditional Egyptian dessert of soaked bread, milk and loads of nuts.
Om Ali or Ali’s mom this is our recipe today. Another recipe with a strange name …. I can hear you say that :). Actually I agree with you it really has a strange name and a bloody legendary story.
In short, it is said that this dessert was made to celebrate the death of Shagaret Ad-dorr- who was the first and last woman – sultana – to rule Egypt. She was a victim of a plot made by Omm Ali – her husband’s first wife- along with her maids as she was beaten to death and the rest of the story is even more barbaric. So the bloody Omm Ali made this dish to celebrate Shagaret Ad-dorr death. There are several of other less violent stories around this dish but this is the most common in Egypt. When I make this dish I try not to overthink this story🤐.
Omm Ali is a sort of bread pudding. It can be made using phyllo dough, puff pastry or croissants. In most Egyptian pastry shops you can buy special Om Ali’s dough to start with. I’ve made it today with puff pastry and find it quite successful. Om Ali is more of a winter dessert as it gives lots of energy to warm up with.
Bread pudding FAQs
Bread pudding leftovers need to be refrigerated as it contains milk. The ratio of milk to bread is higher than cakes so this cannot be left out.
Bread pudding can be a vehicle to much more than nuts and raisins. Although this is the tradition for the Egyptian bread pudding but be creative. Think chopped apples, pears, dried fruits, chocolate chip, toffee bits and so on.
Traditionally this dish is served hot and bubbling. But you do you, so if you like your bread pudding warm or even cold then be it.
Om Ali : step by step
- Bake the puff pastry
Cut the puff sheet into squares, poke several holes with a fork and bake until golden brown.
- Assemble the dish
Break the puff squares into a deep oven dish and mix with favorite nut mixture. Microwave milk and sweeten to your taste then pour milk over. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes.
- Spread whipped cream and bake.
Spread whipped cream or coo whip on top to cover and broil or bake until top is golden brown. Serve with additional milk on the side.
Enjoy with more hot sweetened milk on the side. It’s one of those things that disappear quickly from the dessert table.
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Om Ali Recipe
An Egyptian dessert as old as time. Om Ali is a bread pudding recipe that is said to be from the 12th century.
- 1 (1/2 pound) puff pastry sheet.
- 1 1/2 cup (360ml) milk.
- 1/2-2/3 cup nuts. Note1
- 1 Tablespoon sugar or to your liking.
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- 1 cup (about 115g) whipped cream. Note2
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Cut the puff sheet into squares and place in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Poke holes in each square using a fork and bake and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- In an oven safe dish (2 quarts size), break the baked squares into chunks.
- Mix in nuts of your choice.
- Heat milk in the microwave for 1 minute. Dissolve sugar in warm milk and add vanilla extract.
- Pour milk over the puff pastry and let it sink in for 5-10 minutes.
- Spread the whipped cream over the top and broil in the oven for 5-10 minutes until top is golden.
- Serve hot with more sweetened milk on the side.