Muhallebi Amardeen Pudding, also known as Muhallabia Qamar al-din Pudding or apricot pudding, is a classic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dessert that combines a silky smooth texture with a balance of sweet and tart apricot flavors. Every spoonful is comforting and delicious, making it the perfect treat for Ramadan, Easter, and every occasion in between!
What Is Muhallebi Amardeen Pudding?
Muhallebi goes by many names including Muhallabia and apricot pudding. However, no matter what it’s called, it is always a sweet Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dessert consisting of a combination of milk, sugar, cornstarch, and Amardeen (a type of dried apricot paste).
The mixture is cooked slowly over low heat until it thickens into a creamy pudding. Then, it is poured into serving bowls or cups and placed in the fridge to chill. To serve, it is often topped with a variety of toppings such as chopped nuts like in this plain Mahalabia recipe, fresh fruit, or a dash of cinnamon. As a result, it features a unique balance of sweet and tart flavors with a silky smooth texture that makes it a favorite among those who have tried it.
Origins of Muhallebi
The exact origins of Muhallebi Amardeen Pudding are unknown. However, it is believed to have originated in the Levant region of the Middle East. Today, that portion of the world included Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. Originally, the dessert was always made with dried apricots ground into a paste and mixed with water to form a thick liquid known as Amardeen.
Today, you will find countless versions of the dish all around the world. While many still contain the traditional thick apricot topping, they also contain additions like jam, fruit sauces, and toppings. No matter how it is prepared, it’s always delicious and is a staple during special occasions and holiday celebrations!
Why You’ll Love It
Muhallebi is a staple in our home during Ramadan, but we also love to make it for holiday celebrations and gatherings! Here are a few reasons why it’s so great:
- Just 4 ingredients are all you need.
- One batch makes enough to feed a crowd.
- The sweet and tangy flavors are unlike anything else.
- It’s great to prepare in advance for a quick treat when you need something sweet.
What You’ll Need
One of the best things about Muhallebi Amardeen Pudding is that you only need a handful of simple ingredients!
- Amardeen – This is our favorite pre-made Amardeen. However, you can also make it on your own with a homemade apricot leather recipe!
- Water – Used to combine the ingredients and create a slurry.
- Sugar – Used to sweeten the Amardeen filling.
- Cornstarch – Combines with water and acts as a thickener for the apricot purée.
- Whole Milk – Used to form the base of the pudding creating a rich flavor and silky texture.
- Cornstarch – Mixed with water and used to thicken the pudding.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – This helps make the pudding extra fluffy and creamy.
- Granulated Sugar – Helps sweeten the ingredients.
- Vanilla – Use vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, or both to bring out the rest of the ingredients.
How to Make Muhallebi Amardeen Pudding
This Muhallebi Amardeen Pudding is a beautiful, vibrant dish. Plus, it’s super easy to make! Here’s what to do:
For the Amardeen
- Soak. Slice the Amardeen, and submerge it in a bowl of water. Let it soak for at least 5-6 hours or up to overnight.
- Blend. Drain the water, and transfer the apricot leather to a high-speed blender or food processor. Pulse until a smooth purée is formed.
- Thicken. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the sugar and apricot purée. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water to form a slurry. Add the mixture to the pot, and bring the ingredients to a boil, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat to medium, and let the mixture simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken.
- Chill. Pour the mixture into a container with a spout, and place it in the fridge to chill.
For the Muhallebi
We follow a traditional Muhallebi recipe for the base of the pudding. Here’s what to do:
- Form a Slurry. In a measuring cup, combine part of the milk and cornstarch, whisking until a slurry is formed.
- Combine. In a pot over medium-high heat, add all of the ingredients except the vanilla, stirring ot combine.
- Boil. Increase the heat to medium-high, bringing the mixture to a boil. Then, remove it from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.
- Chill. Divide the mixture into individual bowls, and place it in the fridge to chill
To Make Muhallebi Amardeen Pudding
- Layer. Portion the pudding into small goblets, and layer as much or as little of the Amardeen on top. We like to use a ratio of ¼ or ¾ Muhallebi or Amardeen. However, some prefer a 1:1 ratio of Amardeen and pudding while others enjoy just a sliver of apricot purée over their pudding.
- Refrigerate. Place the dessert in the fridge to chill, and enjoy!
Can You Make Muhallebi Ahead of Time?
Yes! We actually recommend making either version of this dessert at least 1-2 hours ahead of time so it has plenty of time to chill. However, if you want to prepare it in advance, it can be transferred to a sealable jar and stored in the fridge for 1-2 days.
How to Serve
Muhallebi Amardeen Pudding is enjoyed cold. No matter which version you choose, it’s plenty flavorful on its own. But you can never go wrong with extra toppings! Our favorites include unsweetened coconut flakes and chopped nuts like pistachios, almonds, or pecans. Edible rose petals and vermicelli noodles that have been toasted and coated in sugar are popular options, too!
More Middle Eastern Dessert Recipes
Looking for more scrumptious Middle Eastern treats? Some of our favorite options include:
- Coconut Rice Pudding
- Basbousa (Middle Eastern Semolina Cake)
- Atayef with Cream Cheese Filling (Ishta Filling)
- Easy Baklava
Muhallebi Amardeen Pudding
For the Amardeen
- 1 14-ounce package Amardeen (apricot fruit leather)
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 5 Tablespoons cornstarch + 1/2 cup water
For the Muhallebi
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk (divided)
- 5 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and/or vanilla bean paste
- Optional: coconut flakes and chopped nuts for garnish
For the Amardeen:
- Slice the Amardeen into large pieces, and submerge them in a bowl of water for 5-6 hours or up to overnight.
- Drain the water, and transfer the Amarden to a food processor. Pulse until a smooth purée is formed.
- In a large pot over medium heat, add the apricot purée and sugar. Stir to dissolve. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the pot with the apricot purée. Increase the heat, and bring the ingredients to a boil, stirring continuously. Stir for 1-2 minutes, and divide the mixture into small goblets.
For the Muhallebi:
- In a measuring cup, whisk ½ cup milk and the cornstarch until smooth.
- In a pot over medium heat, add the remaining milk, heavy cream, cornstarch slurry, and sugar, mixing to combine.
- Increase the heat to medium-high, bringing the mixture to a boil and whisking continually.
- Once the pudding thickens, remove it from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.
- Transfer the Muhallebi to small goblets or serving bowls. Spoon the chilled Amardeen on top.
- Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Garnish with coconut flakes and nuts, if desired.
- Store in the fridge for 1-2 days.