The second that I finished interviewing author Zoë Ferraris, I had to try Umm Ali. After multiple attempts to perfect the recipe, and about a million calories later, I think I have a winner. The best part is, the dessert looks deceptively fancy. By using frozen puff pastry, it cut down the prep time by half. Umm Ali would be a fun sweet to make for a Finding Nouf book club party. You can find out more about Zoë Ferraris’ page-turning mystery here.
Coconut Bread Pudding
Yield: 12 servings Prep Time: 15 minutes Bake Time: 15 minutes
1 package of frozen puff pastry (approx. 17 ounces)
3/4 cup of pistachios, shelled and chopped
1/2 cup of sliced almonds, set aside about 1/8 cup for the topping
1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes, set aside about 1/8 cup for the topping
1 15 oz. can of coconut milk
2 1/2 cups of water
½ cup pure cane sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
powdered sugar for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Set aside one of the frozen puff pastry sheets to defrost. Break the remaining frozen pastry sheets into 1-inch pieces. Place the puff pastry pieces on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and puffed. Remove the pans from the oven.
3. Place the puff pastry pieces into a large bowl along with the nuts and coconut flakes. Stir everything together and scoop the mixture into a greased 9×12 baking dish.
4. In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk, ground cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, and water on medium heat for 4 minutes, constantly stirring with a whisk. Remove the mixture from the heat. Pour the coconut milk mixture over the puff pastry and nut mixture. Unroll the remaining puff pastry sheet and place over the coconut bread pudding. Bake at 400, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the top turns a light golden brown.
5. Dust the dessert with powdered sugar and top with the remaining nuts. Enjoy!