Not one to fall for most desi desserts, but this Lab e Shireen just gets me. If this is the first, you are hearing of this, let me fill you in. Lab e Shireen is a Pakistani creamy fruit custard, which has fruits, jelly cubes, cream and colorful vermicelli, all balanced in a sweet custard base. To put it simply its the Pakistani version of a trifle! (except that we mix everything together like savages ok?)
I laaaaavve how light and refreshing this dessert feels. Just like a good ol’ bowl of chilled Rasmalai. I mean, I am equally crazy for the more indulgent desi desserts like, gajar ka halwa, or shahi tukrey, but some days, you just need a nice airy light creamy dessert. oh and its also budget friendly! so win win!
The recipe is pretttttty straight forward, all the elements are prepared separately and then dumped in together to create something delicious! Let me walk you through this.
A quick step by step to make Lab e Shireen
Components of the dessert:
- A custard base
- Colored Vermicelli
- Cut up fruits.
All the components are prepared and kept in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours and then taken out to assemble.
Making the Custard Base
So with the custard for this dessert, you want to have like a nice smooth consistency and not a firmly set custard because this dessert has a more creamy consistency than a set one.
So I prepared the custard normally like I do, following the instructions on the packet. The only change I make is that I add all the sugar for the dessert in the custard itself.
It then goes in the fridge 2 hours. After I took it out, I used a hand blender to blend it out. This did make the custard a little thin but that’s OK, that’s what we want.
Prep the Jelly
This was also prepared according to the instructions on the packet. For one pack of jelly, most packets read 1 cup of water. But I’d suggest 3/4 cup of water. This way your jelly won’t be very soft and will sit well in your dessert without leaching any water out.
TIP: Use a large container to set jelly rather than a smaller one. The larger container will give you nice smaller thinner cubes.
For the vermicelli I used the colored ones, but you can use the normal brown vermicelli as well. Just boil it in plain water since our custard has taken care of all the sweetness. Boil it for atleast 10 mins. Strain the water and dump the boiled vermicelli noodles into cold milk. Keep this in the fridge to cool down as well.
Assembling Lab e Shireen
Once all your components are damn right chilled, take out a big mixing bowl. Add in all the elements one by one. Add in the blended custard, then the vermicelli and milk. Mix them together with a whisk. Add in cream and fold it right in.
I used bananas and apple as my fruit because I think they go universally well with all kinds of fruit desserts.
Once everything is mixed, dish it out in your serving glasses or a big serving dish, however you want to serve it. And top it off with some sliced almonds or cream.
It stays perfectly well in the fridge for up to 4 days
ALTERNATES, FIXES AND REMIXES – FOR THE PERFECT LAB E SHIREEN
You can use almond milk instead of regular milk if you are avoiding dairy or are lactose intolerant and skip cream.
- Try using a strawberry base custard instead of the regular vanilla one, that would taste yummm!!
- You can also use some other fruits that you like or canned fruits would taste great too!
- While soaking your vermicelli in milk, add 3 tbsp of chia seeds as well! It would go soooo well with all the other ingredients!
FIXES – What to do if one of these things happen?
- Final mix NOT sweet enough – Add some condense milk in the end
- Final mix too sweet for you – Add some more fresh unsweetened cream
- Final mix too thick for you – Add in some milk to thin it out
- Final mix too thin for you – Add in some heavy whip cream
- Custard too firmly set in the fridge – Put it in a blender and blend it out
If you don’t plan on consuming it right away, or if you are making it for a party, assemble everything together EXCEPT the fruit. And add the fruit on the day of your event. This way you can even make this dessert 2 to 3 days in advance.