Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ashtalieh (Cream Pudding)

Rounding off this week is another Lebanese recipe, this one designed to hit your sweet spot! Writes the author about his cream pudding:

I use a brand called Puck for the cream cheese. It comes in cans and can sometimes be found in Middle Eastern stores. Otherwise any cream cheese will do. Ashtalieh will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Serves 6

4 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ pound cream cheese
2 teaspoons mastic powder
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
1 teaspoon rose water

to finish
½ cup pine nuts, soaked overnight in cold water
½ cup peeled almonds, soaked overnight in cold water
½ cup unsalted pistachios
kater (sugar syrup) (for Dekmak's recipes, check out page 149 of The Lebanese Cookbook)

Heat the milk, sugar, cornstarch, flour, and half the cream cheese in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring all the time with a whisk until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and continue to stir until it thickens.

Add the mastic powder, orange blossom water and rose water and stir another 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the mixture into a shallow serving dish and set aside to cool. Spread the remaining cream cheese on top and store in the refrigerator until needed.

When ready to serve, divide into pieces, decorate with the nuts and pour over the sugar syrup.


Unknown said...

I have never tried making this. We go to a Lebanese restaurant locally that serves it and it is just plain to die for. This looks like it would be almost exactly the way they make it there, at least the picture looks identical.

RpMiller, Fresno, Calif

Yasmeen said...

I love ashtaliyeh! I've never made it with cream cheese though, how interesting!