Layli Lubnan
A cold semolina pudding topped with orange blossom scented cream, fresh fruit or nuts and drizzled with syrup
  • 1 cup/200g organic farina/semolina
  • ¼ cup/50g organic cane sugar
  • 6 cups/1.4L organic whole or full fat milk
  • pinch salt
  • 1tbs rose or orange blossom water
  • Ashta
  • Syrup
  • Pistachios or fruit for garnishing
  • 2 cups/475mL heavy cream
  • 2 cups/475mL half and half
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons rose/orange blossom water
  • 2 cups/400g superfine sugar
  • 1 cup/235mL water
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons rose/orange blossom water
  1. Place the sugar, water, lemon juice in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 8-10 minutes.
  3. The syrup should be thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Add the rose or orange blossom water and pull off the heat to cool.
  5. Put aside.
  1. In medium size pot, bring the milk up to a boil on medium heat.
  2. Add the sugar and the semolina.
  3. Stir continuously until the semolina is thick and bubbly.
  4. Make sure the pudding does not catch at the bottom and burn.
  5. Stir continuously.
  6. Once the pudding is thick, add the orange blossom or rose water.
  7. Pour into a 9 x13 (24x33 cm) dish and spread out evenly.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
  9. While the semolina pudding is chilling, make the Ashta.
  1. Pour all but a half cup of the half/half-cream mixture into a heavy bottomed pot and bring to boil over medium heat.
  2. Stir the cornstarch into the remaining half cup and smooth out into a paste.
  3. Once the milk is nearly to a boil, add the cornstarch mixture and stir vigorously.
  4. The mixture will thicken instantly and as soon it bubbles and is thick, pull off the heat.
  5. Add the orange blossom water.
  6. Put aside to cool slightly.
  7. While the Ashta is still warm, pour/spread onto the top of the semolina pudding.
  8. Cover and chill the pudding completely before serving.
  9. Sprinkle with pistachios before serving or arrange sliced fruit, like strawberries, bananas, mangoes on top and a drizzle of sugar syrup.
Layli Lubnan usually has an additional ingredient called mastic in the recipe. Mastic is a plant resin or a gum that is added for flavouring in many Arabic and Mediterranean desserts. It adds kind of a pine or cedar flavour and only a pinch is used. If you can find it, add a pinch into the ashta. I can never acquire it so I leave it out. The pudding tastes fine without it. Also, if you want to make this in a ½ sheet pan, just double the recipe.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 5413 Fat: 234g Saturated fat: 145g Unsaturated fat: 77g Carbohydrates: 750g Sugar: 525g Sodium: 1166mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 95g Cholesterol: 860mg
Recipe by Coffee and Crumpets at