After Oum Ali, this is another great dessert from Egypt and Eastern Libya. A version of this dessert is explained with step-by-step photos in an excellent site for anybody interested in Libyan food and traditions. Another version I found in Lebanese chef Marlene Mattar‘s cookbook, Maedat Marlene.
This is a simple dessert: Cook the pumpkin and sweeten it. Make a white sauce and sweeten it; layer the two, bake in the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.
I made this dessert with pumpkin and with butternut and I prefer it with the butternut. My version cuts down on the sugar.
INGREDIENTS: 6 servings
- 1 pound (500 g) of butternut (already peeled and cut into chunks)
- 1 cup of water
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar
- dash of cinnamon
- 2 tbsp of golden raisins
- Béchamel sauce: 1.4 oz (40 g.) of AP flour
- 3 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 2 cups of whole milk (or 1 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of cream)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp of orange blossom water (can substitute vanilla extract)
- Peel and cut the butternut into chunks, removing all fibrous material and seeds. Place the butternut chunks with the water, brown sugar, raisins and spice into a saucepan and bring to a boil; simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until the water has evaporated, mashing the butternut mixture with a meat mallet to purée it.
- Make the béchamel: Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir to cook the flour a bit; gradually add the milk stirring nonstop. Add the eggs and sugar and whisk until the mixture is thickened and smooth. Add the flavoring.
- Cool the milk mixture a bit then layer the milk mixture in a ramequin with the butternut mixture in the middle. Bake in a 375F oven for about 10 minutes until bubbly and a bit puffed up. Serve warm or at room temperature.