2 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
9 Tablespoons Corn Starch
1 ts Vanilla Essence
6 tbs Sugar
2 tbs Orange Blossom Water (OFW)
1 Small Container of Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water
2 tbs OFW
1 tbs Vanilla Essence
1 Cup of Salted Butter Melted
1 Package of Shredded Filo Dough
Make the Ashta and Syrup first.
To make the Ashta mix together very well the cornstarch and a 1/2 cup of milk then set to the side.
Bring the remaining 2 cups of the milk and sugar to a boil. Making sure to whisk constantly so as not to burn. After the milk has started to bubble, slowly add the cornstarch and milk mixture continuing to whisk.
After you have a reached a very thick consistency, turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla, OFW and cheese.
Place in a crack safe dish, cover with a piece of plastic which will keep skin from forming and then set in the fridge or freezer until cool to touch.
Make the syrup by bringing all the ingredients to a boil, then simmering for 15 minutes.
Place the syrup in a crack safe glass and put in the fridge or freezer until very cold.
The Pastry has to be room temperature to work with so follow the directions on the package.
Prepare the pastry by pouring the butter over it and rubbing the strands together with your hands until all the pastry has butter on it.
Cut the pastry in half and place on your baking pan and add the cream filling.
After which add the remainder of the pastry and cook at 370 until golden brown, about 35 minutes.
Cut into wedges of desired size, pour the cold syrup on top of the cake and garnish with cut pistachios.
Eat cold or room temperature.
I have found from eating in different Arab homes that most Arab countries have a version of this recipe.
For example in Algeria the filling is with nuts, Lebanon its with cream, Egypt with some use cream while others use nuts. I have also found that all the cream recipes are not the same. Some use cream of rice, corn flour, semolina or flour, and then you find some that like to use soft cheeses like cottage or what I personally like, Ricotta.
That's the lovely part of cooking, falling love with different cultures cuisine's and more importantly the people who make the food.