Umm Ali, Egyptian Bread Pudding with Coconut Cream


  • 500g puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions
  • 1 egg (beaten, for egg wash)
  • 500ml full cream milk
  • 200ml Kara UHT Coconut Cream
  • 200ml Kara UHT Coconut Cream (chilled in fridge for more than a day)
  • 200g Mascarpone (or soft cream cheese if Mascarpone is not available)
  • Sugar, to taste (about 3-4 tablespoons)
  • Powdered /Icing sugar, to taste (about 3-4 tablespoons)
  • 4 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Pistachio kernels (plus 2 tablespoons for sliced garnish)
  • 1/3 cup Cashew nuts (plus 2 tablespoons for sliced garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons Almonds (for sliced garnish)
  • A handful of Black and Golden Raisins



    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
    2. Roll out the thawed puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangular sheet.
    3. Using a pastry cutter, cut the puff pastry sheet into uniform long strips, then into smaller squares or rectangle shapes, and then again into triangles shapes.
    4. Place the puff pastry on a large baking tray, lined with baking paper and brush lightly with egg wash. Make sure to leave a small space between the pieces.
    5. Bake these in batches i.e. place the first batch in the oven for 15 minutes or until they are golden. Then, leave them out to cool down, continue with the next batch.
    6. When the second batch of puff pastry has finished baking, leave to cool, and reduce the oven temperature to 180°C.
    7. Heat the full cream milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, add sugar to taste. Regulate the heat, stirring from time to time, till the milk thickens (about 5 minutes).
    8. Add 200ml Kara UHT Coconut Cream and vanilla extract, stir briskly and bring to a boil once again. Remove from heat. Keep Warm.
    9. Add pistachio kernels and cashew nuts to a small processor and grind them up leaving a little bit of texture.
    10. Add one layer of the baked and cooled puff pastry sheets to a deep oven baking dish. You can tear some of the pieces to make small shreds as you add them.
    11. Sprinkle the ground nuts along with raisins on top. Then cover with the next layer of baked and cooled pastry sheets over the top.
    12. Pour the hot milk over the puff pastry. Leave it for 5 minutes to let the pastry absorbs some of the milk.
    13. Whip the chilled Kara UHT Coconut Cream, mascarpone, powdered sugar and vanilla extract, till you get soft peaks.
    14. Add dollops of the whipped coconut cream over the surface of the puff pastry. Don’t cover completely as getting bits of crisp pastry is nice when served.
    15. Bake in the oven for another 15 minutes.
    16. To get the top golden, you can place it on the top rack (under the grill) and broil for 2-5 minutes more. Alternatively, you can remove it from the oven, sprinkle some sugar over the top, and use a kitchen blow torch to get the top golden.
    17. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and raisins.
    18. Umm Ali is ready to be served immediately.


  • Umm Ali is most delicious when served immediately because the milk will get soaked up as it sits.
  • If you must reheat the dessert, pop it back in the oven to reheat and prepare some extra milk mixture. Add the milk to the serving dish first and add the reheated dessert over it.
  • Instead of using puff pastry, olden-day recipes use Roaa (Egyptian flatbread). Other options that are sometimes used are croissants, palmiers, phyllo pastry, and Khari Puff pastry biscuits.
  • Spices like cardamom and ground cinnamon are traditionally added to flavor the milk instead of vanilla extract. Other than that, rose water may also be used if you prefer the aromatics of rose water.

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