Om Ali with apricots, cardamom & orange flower water

Om Ali with apricots, cardamom & orange flower water

Diana Henry's version of this traditional Egyptian pudding is given a fragrant twist with cardamom and orange flower water.

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  • Serves8
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook15 mins
  • Total time35 mins
  • Pluscooling and resting

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  • 65g butter, melted
  • 150g filo pastry, about 4 sheets
  • 100g mix of walnuts, toasted flaked almonds and shelled pistachios
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 200ml double cream
  • 65g light brown soft sugar
  • 3 cardamom pods, split, seeds finely ground
  • 100g soft apricots, quartered lengthways
  • 1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Orange Blossom Water, to taste (blossom waters vary in strength, so add carefully and keep tasting until you’re happy)
  • Icing sugar, to dust


  1. Heat the oven to 220ºC, gas mark 7. Butter the base of a large roasting tin. Tear 4 broad strips of filo from the first sheet, widthways, put it in the tin, brush with butter, and keep going this way until you use ½ the sheets. Cover the other ½ with a tea towel. Bake the buttered filo for 7 minutes, until golden. When cooled, put the pieces into a bowl. Repeat with the remaining filo. While this happens, toast the walnuts in a frying pan for 1-2 minutes, or until golden. Cool, then roughly chop all the nuts.

  2. Put the milk, 180ml of the cream, 50g of the sugar and the ground cardamom into a small pan. Bring to the boil, then immediately pull off the heat. Leave to infuse for 15 minutes.

  3. Brush a 23cm round, or square 2L ovenproof serving bowl with butter. Put ⅓ of the crisp filo in the base, roughly breaking it up. Reserve 1 tbsp nuts to serve, scatter ½ the nuts and apricots over the first filo layer, then add another ⅓ of the filo. Put the other ½ of the nuts and apricots on top and finish with a final layer of filo.

  4. Add the orange flower water to the milk mixture and pour it over the top of the pastry. Drizzle the last bit of cream over the top, sprinkle with the remaining 15g sugar, then put the dish into the oven. Bake until bubbling at the edges and golden on top, about 15 minutes. If you put a knife in at the edge you should see that the milk and cream aren’t liquid any more. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes – the liquid will continue to thicken a little as it cools.

  5. Scatter the pudding with the reserved nuts, and dust lightly with icing sugar, if liked.

Cook’s tip

The leftover pastry can be well wrapped and kept in the fridge, or frozen for up to 1 month.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


1,746kJ/ 420kcals



Saturated Fat












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