Fattet Al Haleeb
A no-bake, no-eggs, bread pudding of sorts that REALLY reminds me of my childhood, because that’s what my mother would sometimes make us kids as a quick treat. It’s an ‘Arabic mum’ bread pudding, and even though it’s super simple to make, the pine nuts, toasted in browned butter, take it over the top. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity, this warm bread pudding has a lot of depth in flavor and like most comfort food it has sentimental value. For accuracy’s sake, I needed the name of the bread pudding, so I went to the source – my mother. “Fattet haleeb, I think.” She said unconvincingly. Whatever, it’s delicious. The fattet haleeb is probably an offshoot from the more sophisticated Egyptian Um Ali. Now, that’s a bread pudding with major oomph! Like fattet haleeb, there’s no eggs and instead of leftover bread, the milk is soaked in paper thin pastry like sheets, similar to puff pastry and dotted liberally with nuts and dried fruit. Yum! Sadly, it’s also not easily replicated at home. Back to the fattet al haleeb, since the recipe calls for only a few ingredients, I would recommend splurging on good baguette and quality butter.
Level of Difficulty: Easy
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon pine nuts
3 cups milk (low fat milk works too)
2-3 tablespoons sugar
¼ of a French baguette
Heat the milk in a pot till scalding hot. In the meantime and in a small pan over low to medium heat melt the butter. Add the pine nuts and keep mixing with a spatula until the butter browns and the pine nuts turn golden brown. If the pine nuts toast before the butter browns, take them out of the butter and return the butter on the neat to brown. Pour/divide the hot milk in the bowls and stir/divide the sugar till it melts. Add torn up bite size pieces of the baguette to the sweetened milk. Drizzle/divide the brown butter and pine nuts on top of the bread and milk.