Posted by

Victoria Lagodinsky

October 6, 2014

From Bethany Kehdy’s The Jewelled Kitchen.

What’s the one bright side to the grey weather that’s setting in? It’s time to legitimately crack out the comfort food! This dessert, known as Um Ali Bread Pudding, is named after the mother um Ali, and is full of wonderful, warming aromatic spices. The tales of both the mother and the dessert are many and intriguing. This dessert is a quick and easy way to win legions of hearts. It’s also a mouth-watering way to use up stale croissants – or a great reason to go and buy some!


Egyptian Spiced Bread Pudding

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes
4 all-butter croissants
2 tbsp raisins or dried mixed berries
2 tbsp flaked almonds, plus extra to sprinkle
2 tbsp pine nuts, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tbsp roughly chopped shelled pistachios
250ml/9fl oz/1 cup milk
5 tbsp caster sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp orange blossom water
250ml/9fl oz/1 cup whipping cream
4 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 small egg, beaten


1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas 4 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Tear up the croissants into bite-size pieces, place on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until crisp and golden.

3. Spread the baked croissant pieces across the base of a baking dish, about 28cm/11¼in square. Sprinkle over the raisins, almonds, pine nuts and pistachios, making sure they are spread evenly.

4. Heat the milk in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of the sugar and mix well to dissolve. Reduce the heat to low, add the cinnamon and orange blossom water and heat through at a gentle simmer for 3–4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it to cool so that the egg will not scramble when it’s added to it.

5. Meanwhile, put the cream and the remaining sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture forms soft peaks. Sprinkle in the coconut and gently fold to incorporate.

6. Add the egg to the cool milk mixture and whisk to combine. Ladle the mixture into the baking dish and spread the whipped cream over the top.

7. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until everything is bubbling and the top is golden, if necessary placing it under a hot grill for the last 1–2 minutes to brown the top. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for a couple of minutes. Serve warm.



Bethany Kehdy is a pioneer of today’s new Middle Eastern cuisine.The Jewelled Kitchen takes you on an unforgettable adventure of Middle Eastern and North African cuisines. From Tuna Tartare with Chermoula and Sumac-Scented Chicken Parcels, to Cardamom-Scented Profiteroles and Ma’amoul Shortbread Cookies – mouth-watering dishes for you to try. Find Bethany at her inspiring food blog


    “Original and delicious” –  Yotam Ottolenghi

     The Jewelled Kitchen by Bethany Kehdy

      224 pages • Illustrated • £20.00

      AUS $32.99 NZ $42.00

      £20.00 l Buy the book now!