Sunday, December 14, 2014

Layali Lebnan (Nights of Lebanon)

Layali Lebnan (Nights of Lebanon)
This is provably the second Arabic/Lebanese dessert that I ever tried to make :) (Being d custard lover that I am) I fell in love with this rose/orange blossom scented semolina (eggless) custard!

Ah d joys of living in d Middle East! :)

My aunt-in-law (d in-law part eventually one day..) gave me d recipe, both including eggs, and d eggless version. (I personally like this eggless so nothing takes away from d Arabic scents :) ).

As with any Arabic dessert, this is not for d faint-hearted (will likely put you on sugar-coma)! but is it Oh so delicious! and custardy-like :)

Ingredients for d custard:
- 7 glass Milk
- 5 Tbsp Sugar
- 8 Tbsp Semolina
- 1.5 Tbsp Vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp Rose water
- 3 Tbsp Orange blossom water

Additional ingredients/toppings:
- Bananas (ripe; sliced)
- Almonds (slivered)
- Pistachio (slivered)
- Walnuts (whole halves)

- Aatar (Arabic sugar syrup) **recipe below**

Place all custard ingredients over medium heat (4/6) and stirr constantly (I use a coated whisk) until it starts boiling (bubbling). Then lower the heat (3/6) and keep stirring for 4 minutes until the consistency is more thick/firm.

Remove from heat and pour into a glass bowl/tefal/containers. Let cool down.
(If you cooked it long enough the surface should not crack when cold).

In the meantime, you can prepare some Aatar (sugar syrup). Note that Aatar keeps for weeks up to a month in the fridge easily :)

- 2 cups Sugar
- 1 1/4 cups Water
- 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp Rose water
- 1 Tbsp Orange blossom water
Place sugar & water on a pan over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar disolves, then let come to a boil.

Once boiling do not stirr!!, add the lemon juice, and lower the heat to let it simmer for 12 minutes.
Then add the rose & orange blossom water and let boil for additional 30 seconds.

Remove from the heat, and let cool down completly. Then place into a container, and keep in the fridge until use.

So, you have your custard, you have your sugar syrup; now let's put it together.

Serve your custard on the individual plates, and then you can place some whipped cream (if you want) and then sliced bananas, slivered pistachios, almonds, and walnuts... aaand drizle some Aatar syrup on top :) (I told you, this is not for the faint hearted!!)

Voila! a beautifuly scented, custard-like dessert with Arabic touch :) Enjoy!

PS: if you are keeping the custard in the fridge, make sure you cover the top with transparent film, or place a hermetic lid if you have over it, so it wont crack & dry out on the top.

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