Throughout the Middle East, the usual conclusion to a family meal is fresh fruit, and dried fruit and nuts or fruit preserves are offered with coffee. This simple, fragrant dessert (pronounced kho-SHAF beel mish-Mish), with macerated--rather than cooked--dried fruit, is a Syrian speciality of the Muslim month Ramadan, when it's eaten to break the daily fast. Rose water is the distilled essence of rose petals, a distinguishing flavor of Middle Eastern puddings and pastries (as is orange blossom water).
3 cups boiling water
2 1/2 cups dried apricots
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios, toasted
1 teaspoon rose water (optional)
How to Make It
Combine water and apricots in a medium bowl; soak 5 minutes. Strain apricots in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid. Place reserved liquid, 1/2 cup apricots, and sugar in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into bowl. Stir in apricots, raisins, and remaining ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature.