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“This sweet and creamy dessert has a similar consistency to cheesecake. The rose and orange waters with the pistachio topping is very light and lovely - I also tried it topped with cherry and mint which complimented the rose water amazingly. The syrup will be more than you need for the recipe, but it is supposed to keep well. I couldn't find Kiri cream cheese spread, so I used regular cream cheese. from tasteofbeirut.com”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. For the ashtaliyeh:
  2. Heat 1 1/2 cups of milk, sugar and cheese over medium heat, stirring to dissolve both the sugar and cream cheese. (I doubled the amount of sugar for our tastes.).
  3. Meanwhile dissolve cornstarch in the remaining 1/2 cup of milk.
  4. When the milk and sugar mixture starts steaming, stir in the milk and cornstarch mixture. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens.
  5. Stir in the orange blossom water, rose water and mastic, then remove from heat.
  6. Pour through a strainer if desired. Then divide among small molds or ramekins and refrigerate for several hours (or overnight.).
  7. For the syrup:
  8. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. My sugar kept crystalizing because the original recipe said to simmer for 10 minutes - I think if you remove it from the heat as soon as the sugar is completely dissolved it won't be a problem.
  9. Remove from heat, and stir in orange blossom and rose waters. Cool completely - store leftovers in the refrigerator.
  10. For the garnish:
  11. Grind pistachios (the 2 tbsp is after the shells have been removed) with the sugar in a mortar and pestle, or gently pulse in a food processor.
  12. To serve:
  13. Unmold the chilled Ashtalieh onto plates, and sprinkle with the ground pistachios. Drizzle with syrup and enjoy!

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