Simple Achta Pastry Cream

Simple Achta Pastry Cream

For those who don’t know what Achta is and why I’m completely obsessed over it…what you need to know is… making real Achta is a long and lengthy process of watching raw milk boil till it curdles on the top and then scraping the curdled part in baby steps till you have a small plate of pudding (yawn). 

My job is to take complicated recipes and make them simpler. I know it’s not traditionally correct but this is the closest you’ll get and I love that there’s barely any sugar in it AND my son, “Mr Food Snob” really enjoys eating this as a pudding. I have finally been able to replace those sugar infused processed puddings with this homemade option full of dairy and calcium. 

What the heck is Achta? It is a popular Arabic pastry Cream used for many desserts, knafeh, atayef or even on its own with honey, fruit and nuts sprinkled on top. My son preferred it with no honey. We ate it on its own this time and I made a small batch of dried apricots stuffed with atayef. So easy to prepare and a nice treat to offer guests! How beautiful do all the colors look!? 


Here is the recipe: Do as you please with it! 

Prep time: 5 min 

Cooking time: 5 -8 min

Resting time: 2 hours 

Ingredients: 

  1. 7 slices white bread crust removed 
  2. 1/2 cup corn starch with 1/2 cup water 
  3. 2 cups milk 
  4. 2 cups cream 
  5. 2 tbsp sugar 
  6. 1 tbsp rose water 
  7. 1 tbsp orange blossom water 
  8. Cling Film

Method: 

  1. Cut crust off bread and chop into squares. Don’t be a perfectionist here
  2. Mix corn starch and milk till it’s a smooth liquid
  3. Mix with a whisk the milk, cream, corn starch mixture and sugar till all incorporated
  4. Put pot on top of heat (medium to high) and add the pieces of bread 
  5. Keep stirring all the time till mixture gets thick and then use a whisk to smoothen the mixture out 
  6. Once the bread has dissolved and mixture has boiled (2-4 min) you can turn the fire off and add the orange blossom and rose water. 
  7. Pour into a glass Pyrex and cover with cling film. This part is important: let the cling film touch the Achta and cover the mixture completely because it will keep it from forming a hard layer on top. 
  8. Cool down and place in fridge
  9. Achta is ready to eat after two hours and ready to be filled in your recipes if you give it a mix so it clumps up a little. 

Let me know what you think! 

The end. 

The art of food stealthing

360 moms is an online platform for women in the Arab world. It could quite frankly be for women and not necessarily just for the Arab women though. It has a community of experts from different background sharing their tips and experiences in motherhood. I am so happy to begin contributing on the site from my food recipes to my every day life of being a mom and a wife. My first piece is all about how I deal with my son, the one who hates food! It’s been two years and it hasn’t been easy. Rather than fighting back and putting him through therapy sessions, I finally realized that perhaps I need to give him a break and fix things from my end. The end that I can control. I am the one making his food so I might as well hide as much as I can in there till he finallly (hopefully) begins to eat like other children his age. Below are the links to read the article both in English and Arabic. 

If you have any questions or suggestions please do let me know! And feel free to let me know if there’s something you’d like me to write about and share! ❤️❤️❤️ 

English:http://360moms.net/en/contributions/art-food-stealthing/

Arabic: http://360moms.net/مشاركات-2/فن-تهريب-الطعام/

We are a foodie family with an extreme picky eater as a child 

We are a foodie family with an extreme picky eater as a child 


We are a foodie family. There is no exaggeration to this statement. I breathe food: I cook it, eat it, write about it, share it. It’s my job! My husband is a restaura

teur and my daughter has been eating Moules Frites since the age of two. In her “get to know your student better” questionnaire created by her K2 teacher; she was asked what her favorite food was. She looked at me with a “what a hard question, I love everything!” (Insert eye roll emoji here). 

My son on the other hand, stopped eating at the age of 18 months. He went from eating all sorts of global cuisines to just a few items. Doctors always said to not bother and to not make a big deal. “He’ll go back to normal after a few months, all kids go through this stage!” Which is true. They all do! Even my daughter did but she bounced back to normality after a month and she was on a roll again. 

So WTF happened? I don’t know. I try to trace back events that happened and I get nothing. So for the past two years I have been my son’s personal short order chef. 

After eating only cheese, Zaatar and moghrabieh (semolina balls drenched in a caraway and cinnamon meat stock) started getting old. And his refusal of more food reaching an all time high,  I decided to see several feeding specialists. With the help of friends, I finally found one who seemed to have nailed it! The reason for his rejection of food was clearer now. The relief I felt was so nice. 

Apparently, my little boy who walked at nine months with super motor skills was now being told that his oral motor skills were crap. This was definitely not a case Doc Mc Stuffin could handle. In simpler terms, his mouth sends negative signals to his brain saying “this food is foreign material, ABORT!” And with time, now his brain is sending negative signals to his mouth creating an anxiety over food. This sux. This totally sux. But at least I now know and I can understand him better. 

So, although everyone tells me to stop catering to his preferences and to just starve him (which we have done before) this doesn’t work with a picky eater like Ryan. He requires daily mouth exercises with daily feeding therapy which I am doing. 

He is slowly getting better. Till he does, I will continue to cater to his picky eating by hiding nutritious food into the few things he does eat and hope that he will eat it. Sometimes he does and other times he picks up on my feeding tricks. It’s hard work. 

One thing is sure, my boy loves Zaatar, check out what I do with it in my video posted here and on my Instagram channel @onceuponapot

And if you are going through the same thing as I am, let’s connect! And if you know of any feeding therapists in Dubai then please let me know!