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How to make Layali Lubnan "Lebanese Nights" Dessert

This is classic Lebanese dessert recipe. It is simple to make and can be made ahead of time and refrigerated before serving. It is a simple light dessert and can be served any time of year.

Total Time: 30 Minutes
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Yield: 8-10
Level: Easy


1/2 cup semolina
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 tbs corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
2 tbs rose water
2 tbs orange blossom water
3 cups whole milk
1 banana or 2 cups of any fruit
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 cups whipped cream
2 cups DedeMed ashta custard (see recipe below)
2 cups DedeMed simple syrup (see recipe below)

DedeMed Ashta Recipe

2 cups whole milk
2 cups 2% or fat free milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbs sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup water
7 pieces white bread with crust removed
1 tbs Rose Water
1 tbs Orange Blossom water

DedeMed Simple Syrup Recipe

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1 tbs orange blossom water
1 tbs rose water


In a pot, add milk and on medium heat, warm the milk for 3 minutes. Next, add the semolina and sugar, stir and cook for 5-7 minutes until you see it start to thicken. Next add the beaten egg and cornstarch and cook for another 5 minutes and continue stirring. Lastly, turn off the heat and stir in the rose water and orange blossom water, pour the mixture into a deep serving dish and let cool at room temperature for about 40 minutes. After the mixture has cooled, add the ashta custard on top and layer in some of the fruit and nuts, then add the whipped cream and add more of the nuts. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Drizzle lightly with simple syrup and serve with simple syrup on the side in case someone wants more.

For Ashta custard pour whole milk, fat free milk, heavy cream, sugar and cornstarch in a medium size pot and stir. Cut white bread into pieces and add to pot and stir. Mix until custard begins to thicken, add rose and orange water and stir until custard is very thick. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Set on counter top and let cool, stir every 15 minutes and after an hour cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.

For simple syrup combine sugar, water and lemon juice in a pot and let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes then add the rose water and orange blossom water and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely before serving. Store in a tight jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

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