Eish Al Saraya – Lebanese bread pudding

 

Now that the festive season is upon us, another dessert recipe coming up here! It is different and sure to please all your friends. My dear friend, Sahar, introduced me to this delectable Lebanese dessert when she brought it for my baby shower, a small bite and I was hooked – the crunchiness of pistachio on the creamy (yet light) custard with hints of rose and orange on a base of sweet bread. The combination of flavors that was exhilarating but not overpowering, it was love once again. It was like the divine tasting, lighter and healthier version of Shahi tukda (Indian dessert). I have made it many times since and fine tuned the taste to perfection.

Prep Time: 10 Mins

Cooking Time: 15 mins
Recipe Level: Easy

Spice Level: None

Serves: 6
Shelf Life: Eat fresh/ refrigerate under shrink wrap
Serving Suggestion: With toasted nuts 

UTENSILS: 

Two sauce pan, 2 spatula and serving dish.

INGREDIENTS:

Sugar syrup:

  • 1 C Water
  • 1 tbsp milk powder
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 2 tsp of cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1/2 tsp rose water 

Custard & base:

  • Bread rusk – 10
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp full cream milk powder (optional)
  • 3 tbsp corn flour/ corn starch
  • 364 ml (1 can) condensed milk
  • 160 ml (1 can) thick cream 
  • 1 tbsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1/2 fresh orange peel
  • 200g slivered pistachios
  • A handfuls peeled pistachio
  • Dried rosed buds/ petals

METHOD:

  1. Combine together sugar, cardamom powder and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat, Add orange blossom water and rose water, combine and remove from flame. Let it become warm.
  2. In a dessert dish, make a layer of bread rusk and pour half of the sugar syrup all over. Keep it ready.
  3. In a sauce pan, mix together milk powder and milk, save a little milk in the jug. Add condensed milk, heavy cream and sugar to this and mix well. Use the left over milk to make paste with corn flour – add it to the sauce pan. Stir continuously.
  4. Boil this mixture over medium flame stirring continuously. Reduce the heat and cook till thick. The mixture will be harder to stir and will coat the whisk.
  5. Add the orange peels, cardamom powder, orange blossom water and rose water to this and combine well.
  6. Pour this custard mixture evenly over the bread rusk layer. Let it set it in the refrigerator for about 4 – 5 hours.

TIPS:

  • I use a combination of milk and milk powder as I find the full cream milk available locally also on the thinner side.
  • Toasted bread can also be used instead of bread rusk. Or double toasted bread available in supermarkets
  • If using toasted bread, then the sugar quantity (in the syrup and custard) would need to be increased as the rusks I use are mildly sweet.

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