Ashta(Clotted thick cream with Rose water)
If you are familiar with Middle Eastern Arabic Sweets,then you would probably know that "Ashta" is the queen of sweets fillers! "Kashta or Ashta " is the common Arabic name for clotted cream prepared with rose water. Ashta is mostly used as a filler for many Arabic desserts such as "Kunafa, Halawet El Jebn, Eish AlSaraya,Qatayef,..." and so many other sweets.It may also be served with honey or on top of fruit salads and fruit cocktails.
You can find fresh ready Ashta in local grocery stores, and now you can find many brands of canned version Ashta, but for me a home-made is always the best way to get the perfect original pure Ashta! and I can guarantee that for you :)
There are many ways to prepare ashta at home, its mainly using whole milk with white vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice, hot milk starts to clot and then its flavored with rose water.
For me I like to make it more creamy in texture and little bet more smoother, so after collecting Ashta/clotted cream and strain it well using a fine strainer lined with cheese-cloth, discard the whey and let it cool, I mix it with some amount of milk pudding, this will lead to a soft creamy delicious Ashta! and am sure that once you try it, you will heavenly love it!
Recipe for Homemade Ashta:
1 liter whole milk
4 Tablespoons vinegar or strained fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon rose water(optional)
For the milk pudding :
1/2 liter whole milk
1/2 cup corn flour
-In a saucepan add 1 liter whole milk and bring just to boil over medium heat(don't let boil), add vinegar and stir once. See the milk immediately starting to clot, and turns to a near clear color (Whey).
-Add rose water and stir, after 1 minute turn of heat and use a spatula to collect the Ashta/Clottted Cream from the surface and place them into a strainer, better lined with clean cheesecloth. Let cool completely at room temperature then transfer Ashta to a well sealed glass container and keep in the refrigerator or use as a filler in your sweets. **But if you prefer smoother Ashta texture, then do the next step :)
-In a clean pot add 1/2 whole milk and corn flour, mix well using a hand mixer,put over medium heat and keep stirring tell milk thickens(around 5-8 mins). turn of the heat, add in Ashta and mix well, until you get a homogeneous mixture (you can use the electric mixer for better result). transfer ashta to glass container and let cool at room temperature,then you can use it as a filling or keep in your refrigerator well sealed for 2 weeks.
*Ashta usually does not contain sugar, because it is used as filling for Arabic desserts that are sweetened with generous amount of sugar syrup.
*You can also serve Ashta alone in cups, as it tastes so good when adding sugar syrup (Ater) or honey and sprinkle with some pistachios on top!
*For recipe in Arabic plz click here