Om Ali is a storied dessert. There are a number of tales that purport to explain its origins. Whichever is correct, and I’ll not regale you with them here, one thing is for sure; literally translated, ‘om Ali’ means ‘mother of Ali’. But more importantly, it is the Egyptian take on the British classic bread and butter pudding.
In its most basic form, om Ali is made with puff pastry, milk, sugar, coconut and currants. If you’re feeling plush you could add different nuts and spices, but the dessert doesn’t need it. Except for almonds. Almonds are always worth it.
The most cost-effective way to make om Ali is with pre-baked puff pastry. Having said that, it is also a fantastic way to use up leftover croissants, too far past their best to be otherwise enjoyed. As you can see, it’s very similar to bread and butter pudding in all regards.
Some add a layer of whipped cream to the top of om Ali. The idea is that the natural sugars in the cream caramelise, adding a luxurious and rich topping to the pudding. Though similar to bread and butter pudding, om Ali is supposed to be a smidge naughtier.
For a different take on bread and butter pudding see my delicious hot cross bread and butter pudding. It’s divine.
- 250g puff pastry
- 500ml whole milk
- 100g sugar
- 50g currants
- 25g coconut flakes
- 25g almond flakes
- Pre-bake your puff pastry at 200C/180C(fan), until brown and cooked through. Set aside to cool. Keep the oven on.
- Once cool, break your pastry into a medium-sized casserole dish. Gently warm the milk with the sugar until the latter dissolves.
- Scatter the currants and coconut flakes over the pastry. Pour over the milk and top with the almond flakes.
- Bake the prepare om Ali for 10-15 minutes, removing it from the oven once browned on top and cooked through. Serve immediately, or leave to cool and refrigerate for later.
Cost: The cost of your om Ali will largely depend on the source of your pastry. I used the odds and ends of a leftover roll of shop bought puff pastry. Based on that, you can make this wonderful Egyptian dessert for as little as £1.50.
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