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Om Ali is a traditional Egyptian dessert, 100% Egyptian.
This dish, Om Ali (Mother of Ali) has some unsavory history.
Om Ali was the wife of a ruler from the Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt called Ezz El-Din Aybek.
Her rival Shagaret El Dorr was the second wife of that ruler. After his death, Shagaret El Dorr arranged for
Om Ali to be murdered, and to celebrate, she requested from her cooks to come up with the most
delicious dessert they can think of to distribute to throughout Egypt. The successful recipe was a special
pastry with milk and honey, that was named Om Ali. A gold coin was added to each plate & distributed in
the streets of Egypt.
Shagaret El Dorr ruled Egypt for some time in the name of her husband, and later died in a conspiracy
too. This dish to date is still known as Om Ali.
Ingredients (serves 6)
1 package of frozen puff pastry (approx. 400g)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (approx. 400g) - In Egypt, buffalo milk is more popular. Condensed
milk is the closest to the buffalo milk flavor.
3 cups water
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled, chopped or roasted chopped hazelnuts or pecans depending on taste
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon depending on taste
Preparing Om Ali
Preheat oven to 400 deg F (200 Deg C).
Unroll puff pastry sheets and place on baking sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and puffed.
Remove from oven. Do not turn oven off; you will be using it in a few minutes with the same temperature.
Use six oven proof ramekins [or a 9x12 oven proof dish]. You can also use disposable aluminum foil
Break puff pastry into small pieces & place in layers in the individual ramekins. Add the nuts and raisins
in between the pastry layers ensuring they are mixed well and evenly distributed. Also if you like
cinnamon, you can add a pinch of cinnamon in between the layers, but don't over do it.
Ensure you don't fill ramekins to top. Only fill 3/4 of the ramekin, so it doesn't overflow in the oven.
In a saucepan, heat sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and water on medium heat. Allow to cook for
about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat then allow to cool.
Pour milk over puff pastry/nut mixture. Pour cream on top and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
Serve warm. (Personally I prefer to wait till Om Ali is at room temperature)