Eish al-Saraya (Syrian Dessert)



  • 15 slices bread
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom and rose water


  • 2 small packages whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
  • 1 cup chopped raw pistachio
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom jam


  1. Place slices of bread in an oven tray and broil until both sides are lightly golden and place them in a big bowl. Put, in a medium saucepan, 3 tablespoons of sugar on high heat and stir constantly until it turns brown, then pour water and the remaining sugar. Stir to boil and dissolve, remove the sugar from the heat and add orange blossom and rose water. Stir then pour the syrup on the roasted bread and with a big spoon, mix the bread with syrup until it combines.
  2. Spread the bread in a big serving platter some 13-inches square and set it aside.
  3. Place whipping cream and cornstarch in a saucepan on medium heat and stir constantly to boil and thicken, then remove from heat and add blossom water. Stir well and pour cream on the brown bread, and sprinkle all the face with chopped pistachio and garnish with red orange blossom jam (in the middle and 4 places around the edges with 1/2 teaspoon on each place or 1/2 a cherry).
  4. Refrigerate before serving for at least 4 hours.