How to make a killer Lebanese Fruit Cocktail? Do it like the Lebanese with rich fruit sauces and topped with ashta, pistachio and a drizzle of honey.
It’s that wonderful time once again for an International Incident Party hosted by the wonderful Penny at Jeroxie. This month the theme is Sundaes! Oh How I love Thee Ice Cream! Yep I do eat ice cream 12 months out of the year…but Penny, who is down under, is laying in the hot summer sun right now while I am knee deep in snow! Maybe not the best time of the year for me. I guess it is time to play reverse psychology with myself and turn a negative into a positive….my Sundae will call out for Spring to arrive asap with this Lebanese Fruit Cocktail.
About 10 years ago I discovered a place in Montreal – in a lost industrial corner of the city – called Cocktail Antabli, a place that specializes in exotic fruit cocktails and waffles. It is owned by a Lebanese family. After my first experience there it became a mandatory yearly pilgrimage at the very least once a year. The fruit cocktails are ginormous and filling….they are more than a meal on their own. But so good, especially the big gooey white topping with pistachios drizzled in honey. And I always picked one with the amazing avocado purée.
Lebanese Fruit Cocktail Sundae
So for this challenge, I decided to recreate my favorite Lebanese Fruit Cocktail from this shop. Now a Sundae does require ice cream and there is none in the original version, so I decided to turn the avocado purée into avocado ice cream. My post may look daunting because there are several recipes…but they are all short and very quick. I highly recommend you make this treat. The secret is picking perfectly ripe and sweet fruits. Oh ad that gooey white stuff I found out is called Ashta. The trick when eating it is to go a bit under the ashta and only have a small portion of it with each spoonful so you still have ashta left with your last bites. I was very pleased to find a recipe for it on one of my favorite blogs owned by Joumana, Taste of Beirut. OK here we go with the making of:
mango, strawberry, banana…sliced or cut
avocado ice cream (see below)
mango purée (see below)
strawberry coulis (see below)
ashta (see below)
- In a very tall glass layer a bit of bananas and mangoes then cover with a bit of strawberry coulis.
- Next layer strawberries and cover with a bit of mango purée.
- Add a scoop of avocado ice cream.
- Repeat the 3 layers
- Top with a big scoop of ashta, crushes pistachio and a liberal drizzling of honey. Find a very long spoon!
Avocado Ice Cream Recipe
250ml heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 ripe avocados
Peel and seed the avocados, put into a blender with the milk and make a purée. Pour the purée into a mixing bowl, add the sugar, lemon juice and cream and beat until creamy. Transfer the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
flesh of 1/2 a mango
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
Blend together to get a creamy purée. If too thick, adjust consistency with water.
1 cup of strawberries, chopped
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
Blend together to get a creamy coulis. If too thick, adjust consistency with water.
Ashta, makes about 1 cup
2 slices of American-style white bread
500ml of half-and-half or 1/2 milk and 1/2 heavy cream
2 tablespoons of cornstarch, diluted in a bit of water
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of orange blossom water, 1 teaspoon of rose water
- Start by cutting the edges off the bread. Cut the soft white part in dices.
- Pour the half-and-half or milk and cream mixture (or whole milk) in a heavy-bottomed saucepan; add the diced bread and let it soak in the milk mixture for as long as possible, a day if you can.
- Heat the milk and bread mixture, add the sugar; dilute the cornstarch in water; stir the milk mixture continuously until it starts to steam; add the cornstarch and keep stirring until the mixture thickens, making sure it does not burn (adjust the heat).
- Add the flavored waters if using, stir a few seconds more and remove from the heat. Pour into a bowl, let it cool and then cover with plastic and store in the fridge overnight to give the cream a chance to thicken.
Check out more Lebanese recipes: