Desserts

Ashta, Middle Eastern Clotted Cream

A bowl filled with fresh Ashta topped with thinly sliced pistachios and dried roses.

Who can say no to a decadent cream that melts in your mouth? Ashta, Kashta or Qishta is an Arabic-style clotted cream that will make you fall in love with Middle Eastern desserts.

With a handful of ingredients that are already available in your kitchen pantry, you can make the best clotted cream you have ever tasted. So prepare your milk, heavy cream, cornstarch, mastic, sugar, orange blossom, and rose water, and let’s make a super yummy treat!


Creamy and rich Ashta with pistachios sprinkled on top
You will keep craving it.


What is Ashta?

Ashta also known as Kashta or Qishta is a thick and creamy clotted cream that can be enjoyed in so many different ways. It is included in most Middle Eastern traditional desserts. Sweets symbolize celebrations and gatherings in the Middle East, that’s probably the reason why everyone loves it so much.

Traditionally, Qishta was made differently. It consisted of boiling some fresh milk, then skimming the thin layer that forms on its surface. The process was then repeated until a sufficient amount has been collected.

Most people now make it with this shortcut recipe since the traditional way is time-consuming and requires much more effort.


Fluffy white Middle Eastern kashta for  desserts topped with crushed pistachios
The fluffiest cream ever.

Best Ways to Enjoy Ashta

Ashta is such a versatile recipe, it could be served in so many creative ways. Here are a few suggestions.

Ashta is used as a filling in so many Middle Eastern desserts such as Aish El Saraya Dessert and Halawat el Jibn (Sweet Cheese Rolls).

You can serve Keshta in a bowl, topped with your favorite fruits. I would suggest you try it with strawberries, bananas, blueberries, or kiwis. You could also enjoy it cold as an ice cream.

In the Middle East, cocktail is actually served with Ashta, and it’s a hit.

You could never go wrong with Ashta honestly, you can have it with bread, sugar, vanilla, or cocoa powder, top it with chocolate, honey, or nuts and you will still enjoy it!


The easiest Ashta served on a bowl topped with dried rose petals and crushed pistachios
The next best thing.

The Significance of Ashta in Ramadan

During the holy month of Ramadan, desserts are a must after iftar. And the best part about it is that there is a wide variety of options to choose from.

Traditional Radaman desserts such as Osmanliyeh, Qatayef, Znoud el Sett, Halawat el Rozz, Warbat, and Maamoul Madd all have one common factor, and that is Kashta. Kashta is a staple in the Middle East, especially during Ramadan. It is slightly sweet, creamy, and fluffy which makes it irresistible after a day of fasting.


Pro Tips

When you cover your Ashta, make sure the plastic wrap touches the surface so it doesn’t develop a crust.

It is recommended that you use a non-stick pan to prevent your Kashta from sticking.

If you want to thicken your Qishta, add a little bit of cornstarch.

In order to get the creamiest consistency, keep whisking. Otherwise, you will end up with a chunky and grainy mixture.

After refrigerating, if your Ashta gets thicker than you would like it to be, just blend it a little bit. Doing so will make it creamier.

Feel free to tweak the amounts to make more or less per dessert since some desserts need more cream. This makes enough to stuff a full recipe of my Qatayef asafiri.


Luxurious clotted cream with some crushed pistachios on top
The creamiest clotted cream.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does half and half mean?

Half and half simply means half whole milk and half heavy cream.

Can I replace sugar with natural sweeteners?

Yes, feel free to use natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup instead.

How long does kashta last in the refrigerator?

Kashta keeps well in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Can I freeze Ashta?

Freezing Ashta isn’t really recommended. If frozen, it will lose its fluffy texture and will become liquidy.


Indulging Ashta for Middle Eastern desserts. This bowl of ashta is served with some dried rose petals and crushed pistachios on the top
Pin it!

Ingredients

Who needs store-bought clotted cream when you can make it at home? Get your ingredients ready and let’s make the easiest Ashta!


Half and half: half whole milk and half heavy cream.

Cornstarch: it will thicken your ashta.

Orange blossom: for the authentic middle eastern taste.

Rose water: it will add a beautiful aroma and taste.

Mastic: you need to mix it with some sugar.


Steps to Prep

to make ashta, start by adding sugar and crushed mastic to your half and half

The next step of making ashta is to add cornstarch to the mixture

The third step is to add rose water and orange blossom

Next, whisk together well until the cornstarch is dissolved and incorporated.

The fourth step is to whisk all ingredients together well until the cornstarch is dissolved and incorporated

Then, put the pot on the stove on medium heat and continuously whisk until thickened for about 12 to 15 minutes.

Once thickened, pour into a plate or a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic touches the surface of the Qishta so it doesn’t develop a crust.

Finally, refrigerate until it’s cold and ready to be used.


Recipes You Must Try:

Authentic Palestinian Knafeh

Easy No Bake Knafeh Cups

Knafeh Cheesecake

Middle Eastern Rice Pudding (Riz Bi Haleeb)

Halawat el Jibn (Sweet Cheese Rolls)

Layali Lubnan (Lebanese Nights Dessert)

Maamoul (Date Filled Cookies)

Date-Filled Brioche Buns

Palestinian Sesame Tea Cookies

Hilbeh | Fenugreek Cake


If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience. You can follow me on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.


A bowl filled with fresh Ashta topped with thinly sliced pistachios and dried roses.

Ashta, Middle Eastern clotted cream

Fatimah
Ashta is a slightly sweet and indulgent Middle Eastern clotted cream. It is super easy to make, requires only a handful of ingredients, and is featured in most Ramadan desserts.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Middle Eastern

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups half n half (or 2 cups heavy cream and 2 cups whole milk)
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed mastic with ½ teaspoon sugar

Instructions
 

  • Crush the mastic in a mortar and pestle with ½ teaspoon of sugar until completely fine and powdery.
  • Add the complete ingredients to a pot and whisk together well until the cornstarch is dissolved and incorporated.
  • Add the pot on the stove on medium heat and continuously whisk until thickened for about 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Once thickened, pour into a plate or a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic touches the surface of the Qishta so it doesn't develop a crust.
  • Refrigerate until it's cold and ready to be used.

Notes

  • When you cover your Ashta, make sure the plastic wrap touches the surface so it doesn’t develop a crust.
  • It is recommended that you use a non-stick pan to prevent it from sticking.
  • If you want to thicken your Qishta, add a little bit of cornstarch.
  • In order to get the creamiest consistency, keep whisking. Otherwise, you will end up with a chunky and grainy mixture.
  • If your Ashta gets thick after refrigerating than you would like it to be, blend it a little bit. By doing so, it will become creamier.
  • Feel free to tweak the amounts to make more or less per dessert since some desserts need more cream. this makes enough to stuff a full recipe of my Qatayef asafiri.
  • Optional add ins: 1/4 cup whole milk Ricotta, or 1 can of table cream.
Keyword Ashta, Qishta, Kashta, Clotted cream
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

3 thoughts on “Ashta, Middle Eastern Clotted Cream

  1. Helen Najarian says:

    5 stars
    I’ll give 5 star to all your recipe! I wish you publish a book!!! I guarantee you you will succeed!!!❤️❤️❤️

  2. Jeri Lee Placido says:

    What is the use of mastic? Most of the recipes I see in Internet doesn‘t use of it.

    1. Fatimah says:

      Mastic is used plenty in levantine Arab desserts. it adds a nice hint of flavor. You can definitely omit it.

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