Aish El Saraya
We love traditional recipes in Ramadan, especially our own family recipes. So here is my mom’s Aish Al Saraya recipe that she makes each year, and the whole family loves it! Aish el Saraya is sort of a bread pudding that is available in many Arab countries. It’s very popular in Egypt but can be quite heavy and drenched in syrup. Our recipe is a lot lighter in taste and texture and not so sweet as I don’t put loads of sugar in the cream. The way my mom makes it is very similar to the kunafa with cream, but instead of kunafa she adds toast. It consists of layers of toasted breadcrumbs with a smooth and delicious cream, topped with syrup and pistachios, and it is best served warm.
I recently went on a kitchen shopping spree as I needed some new pans and serving platters for Ramadan, and I fell in love with Williams-Sonoma. It’s a home furniture and kitchenware store in Dubai Mall with high-quality cookware and beautiful entertaining collections. My favorite purchases are the ceramic non-stick saucepan and the elegant matte gold platter, which I used in this recipe.
Aish El Saraya
For the toast crust
- 1 pack white toast stale and crushed to a fine crumb
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 2 tbsp shredded coconut
For the filling
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1 can (170 g) cream
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
For the syrup
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
To make the syrup
- In a small saucepan combine the sugar and water and place over medium-high heat without stirring. Once boiling simmer for 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Let it cool completely.
To make the crust
- Combine the crushed toast with the ghee and shredded coconut on medium heat for one minute and stir until all the toast is coated with ghee. Remove from the heat.
To make the cream filling
- Combine all the cream ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, and constantly stir until thickened. It should be free from lumps so if any lumps form, smoothen with a hand mixer or strain the cream.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and prepare a 10-inch pan by brushing with softened butter or ghee.
- Split the toasted crumbs into two halves and spread one half on the bottom of the pan. And make a wall of crumbs around the sides of the pan.
- Pour all the cream on top, making sure the cream doesn’t touch the edges of the pan.
- Spread the remaining breadcrumbs evenly onto the top of the cream. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
- As soon as you bring it out of the oven, pour the cooled syrup onto the Aish Al Saraya.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes to cool slightly, then turn it onto your serving platter. Enjoy warm with nuts on top.
- Aish El Saraya can be made a few hours in advance, covered, and stored in the fridge until it's time to bake.
- Start by making the syrup first to allow it to cool before making the Aish El Saraya.
- If you are not using the cream filling right away, cover it with a cling wrap touching the surface of the cream so it doesn't form a skin on top.
- Try to use ghee in this recipe if available because it makes the toast a lot crispier than butter, but if you don't have ghee butter will do.
- You can add a splash of orange blossom and rose water to the sugar syrup at the end of making it for added flavor.