Osmaliyeh with Rose-Water Ice Cream Recipe

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Photo: Courtesy of Leen Al Zaben

Savoir Flair’s Contributing Food Editor Leen Al Zaben, of Culeenary.com fame, tackles traditional Arabic dishes and updates them for the modern day.

I love rose water. It’s one of the most underrated ingredients in the Middle Eastern pantry. I also love osmaliyeh, so this month I decided to combine the two. Inspired by the recipe for an ice-cream sandwich that I stumbled across in a food magazine earlier this month, I decided to create its Middle Eastern version.

For this recipe, I chose store-bought vanilla ice cream, to which I then added rose water. You can also try different ice-cream flavors, like chocolate. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous and have an ice-cream maker handy, you’ll find that home-made ice cream really does make a difference.

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Serves 6 10 minutes prep time, 2 hours freezing time
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  • The Crust
    • 1 package frozen knafeh dough
    • 1 tbsp butter, softened (optional)
  • The Filling
    • 1 liter vanilla ice cream, softened
    • 250g cream cheese
    • 2 tbsp rose water
    • 2 tbsp pistachio nuts, chopped for garnish
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 180°C.

    On a flat baking sheet, place the knafeh dough in a thin layer without separating the strands.

    Step 1
  • Step 2

    Spread the butter evenly over the knafeh, and place in the oven for five to seven minutes or until the knafeh turns golden. Once ready, take the knafeh out and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

    Step 2
  • Step 3

    Whisk the cream cheese until soft.

    Step 3
  • Step 4

    Add the softened ice cream and rose water, and slowly mix to combine using a spatula. Place ice cream back in the container and freeze for two hours until set.

    Step 4
  • Step 5

    Using a round cookie cutter or a small bowl, cut out sections of the knafeh dough to make the base and top of the osmaliyeh.

    Step 5
  • Step 6

    Scoop out the ice cream and sandwich each scoop between two layers of crust. Spread evenly with a spatula.

    Step 6
  • Step 7

    Top with crushed pistachios and serve.

    Step 7
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