Ashta is a type of milk pudding that is traditionally used to fill desserts, such as the filled pancakes Atayef or the pudding rolls. The milk cream is hardly sweetened at all, as it is always sweetened with plenty of sugar syrup afterwards. However, ashta does not necessarily have to be hidden in a pastry. The milk pudding is also a delicious dessert on its own, especially with passion fruit and honey.
What is Ashta?
Originally, ashta is not really a milk pudding, but rather a homemade creamy custard that is very similar to Italian mascarpone. So, if you have plenty of time, you can heat up fresh milk and skim off the skin that forms on the surface over and over again, flavor it and puree it. But honestly, who does that?
Another variant is to heat milk with cream and separate the whey by adding a little vinegar, then skim off the separating cream and pour it into a sieve. It’s easier, but still more work than it should be.
You can make it really easy for yourself and make an “Ashta Kisbeh“. The name means something like “Fake Ashta“. The cream tastes very similar to the original, but is actually more of a pudding. All you need is milk and cornstarch. The pudding is then flavored with rose and orange blossom water to give it that typical taste – and that’s it. There is actually very little sugar, as we prefer to give the milk pudding a sweet topping with honey and passion fruit afterwards.
Milk pudding – quick and easy dessert
If you make ashta using this pudding method, it has the advantage that you can turn it out. Just like panna cotta. But of course you don’t have to. You can also serve everything in a dessert bowl. Ashta is ready really quickly using this method and can be topped to your heart’s content once it has cooled. The milk pudding is also ideal for filling pastries or as a cream for dessert toppings.
My mom even has ashta with honey and nuts for breakfast. Here, however, I opted for beautiful and super fruity passion fruit aka maracuja. Simply cut open, pour over the milk pudding and season with honey and a little mint – it’s probably never been so easy to conjure up such a visually and tastefully spectacular dessert.
How do you prepare ashta?
You only need a handful of ingredients for this pudding variation, because ashta is quick and easy to prepare.
All you need for the pudding base is:
- Whole milk
- Rose floral water
- Orange blossom water
You probably have everything you need in your store cupboard and can get started straight away:
- Bring the milk to the boil.
- Stir in the vanilla and sugar.
- Pour the cornflour into the milk while stirring until the pudding thickens.
- Refine the ashta with rose petal and orange water and leave to cool.
Tips for preparation
- To make the ahsta even creamier, you can also use 50/50 milk and cream. However, bear in mind that the nutritional information changes.
- You can prepare the pudding the day before and garnish with fresh toppings when serving. It will keep for approx. 1-3 days in the fridge. It is best to pour it into sterile jars while still hot and screw on a lid. This also prevents a skin from forming on the pudding. However, it can happen that the bond between the milk protein and the starch weakens and the cream becomes more liquid again or forms a film on top. If this is the case, you should no longer use the milk pudding.
- Go wild with the toppings! Passion fruit is a good addition due to its acidity, but is not always in season and is not regional. In summer, some apricot jam, raspberry-pomegranate jelly or some stewed plums are also suitable.
Recipe for ashta with passion fruit
- 700 ml Whole milk / Vegetable milk
- 7 TBSP Cornstarch
- 1 packet Vanilla sugar
- 2 TBSP Sugar
- 2 TSP Roseflower water
- 2 TSP Orange blossom water
- 2 Passion fruit
- 8 TSP Honey or agave syrup
- 5 g Mint
- Remove a few tablespoons of milk and bring the remaining to a boil in a saucepan.
- Stir in vanilla sugar and sugar until dissolved.
- Turn off the stove. Mix the drained milk with cornstarch and add to the milk, stirring until the pudding thickens.
- Fold in the rose petal and orange water and let the pudding cool. Depending on whether you want to make one large bowl or several small ones, dump the pudding into the designated containers while it's still hot.
- Wash mint and pluck leaves. Cut passion fruit in half.
- Turn out cold pudding onto plate or leave in bowl. Garnish with passion fruit, honey and mint.