This bread pudding is an Egyptian dessert that can please any palate. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of all invention. As the story goes, Um Ali, which means the mother of Ali in Arabic, was a life saver for her village and for all dry bread.
The story goes, that during the Ottoman reign over Egypt, the sultan or the big guy was on hunting trip by a small poor village in the Nile delta and then, I guess with the fresh air, developed a graving for sweet. Of course what the sultan wants the sultan gets. The mayor of this small village did not what to do. The mayor went to the house of um Ali and asked her help. I guess she was known as good baker in their village. Um Ali, looked around and used what she had. Dry bread, dry raisin, some nuts for the yard tree with milk from the house cow. She sprinkled sugar on top and baked the whole thing. The sultan loved this treat. When he inquire about it they told him it was um Ali. So, he thought that was the name of the dessert. I have to say that this bread pudding is one of the most popular dessert in my restaurant. I do like it serve hot in the winter and cold in the summer. Her is the recipe and you can serve it any way you like.
6 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons coconut flakes
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
4 dry croissants
-In a bowl, mix the corn starch with 1/2 cup of cold milk. Add the rest of the milk and the sugar except for 1 tablespoon. Mix well. Add the raisins, the coconut flakes and the orange blossom water.
-Crumble the dry croissant in 9 X 12 baking pan. Sprinkle the almonds on top and then pour the milk mixture on top. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top.
-Bake in a 450 degree F. oven for 15 minutes or until the top is browning and bubbling. Remove and serve hot or cold.
I like to sprinkle the top with crushed unsalted pistachio.