Of all the Um Ali's I have tried, this croissant version is the best one I have ever come across, hailing from my beloved sister and friend. Um Ali is the Arabian version of a sweet bread pudding. The flavorings are up to you whether saffron, rosewater, orange blossom, mastica, or what have you. But one great must have is nuts.
Baking the nuts in the bread pudding plums them up and gives an unbeatable bit under the tooth. Again, you can add your choice of nuts. The following recipe is my favorite one. Stale croissant is key here.
While Um Ali is not strictly an Iraqi recipe but one that is shared amongst all the Arab nations including Egypt and even Turkey, it is a very popular and loved sweet in Iraq.
8 butter croissant
3 tbsp flaked almonds
3 tbsp pistachio nuts
3 tbsp powdered coconut
3 tbsp dark raisins (optional)
1 can nestle sweetened condensed milk (395g)
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 cups water
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
Halve the croissants, then slice.
Mix the croissants, almond flakes, pistachio, coconut, and raisins (if using) in an over-proof deep dish.
In a large saucepan, mix the water, condensed milk and vanilla. Bring just to a boil.
Pour hot milk mixture over croissants, leave to soak 5-10 minutes.
Spoon or pipe the whipped cream oven the mixture and pop into the oven uncovered.
Bake for 30 minutes, then broil until just golden.
صحة و عافية