Om Ali is an Egyptian classic as old as time. Very few desserts can beat the deliciousness of Om Ali. Not many people know the tragic story behind this popular dish:
Om Ali is said to have originated as a celebration of the death of Shajar al-Durr, who had been married to Egypt’s final Sultan from the Ayyubid dynasty, As-Salih, and subsequently to the first of Egypt’s Mamluk Sultans, Izz al-Din Aybak. Shajar al-Durr plotted the murder of Aybak, after which she became ruler of Egypt. Ultimately, she was herself killed in retribution, whereafter Aybak’s first wife, who was known as Om Ali, asked to have a dessert prepared in celebration. The dessert was popularized throughout the country, and was ultimately named after Om Ali.
Om Ali- Egyptian Bread Pudding
- Medium saucepan
- 9×13-inch casserole dish
- 1 lb Palmiers (Sub: Baked Puff pastry or croissants)
- 4 cups Whole milk
- ¼ cup Heavy cream
- ½ cup Sugar
- 1 cup Clotted cream (Sub: whipping cream)
- 1 cup Pistachio nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
- If using puff pastry, bake in advance following package instructions. Preheat oven broiler to 400°F (200°C).
- Break ¾ of the palmiers into a few pieces and arrange in layers across a oven-proof casserole dish. Break remaining palmiers in half and reserve. Add nuts, if using, to reserved palmiers.
- Stir together the milk, heavy cream, and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. As soon as it boils, remove from heat and add to the casserole.
- Top the surface with the reserved torn puff pastry/palmiers. Evenly spread whipping cream whipped to medium peaks across the whole top or dollops of clotted cream.
- Place dish under the broiler until bubbling around the edges and the top turns golden brown. Serve hot.