Brenda Gantt

Almond Pudding, a sumptuous and creamy dessert, tantalizes the taste buds with the rich, nutty essence of almonds. This classic indulgence has delighted dessert lovers for generations, offering a perfect balance of sweetness and the natural allure of almonds. In this exploration, we will uncover the history, ingredients, and step-by-step instructions to create this comforting and elegant almond-infused delight.

The history of Almond Pudding can be traced back centuries to the kitchens of various cultures around the world. Almonds, with their rich and buttery flavor, have been a cherished ingredient in many cuisines.

In European culinary traditions, almond puddings became particularly popular during the medieval period. Ground almonds were used to create almond milk, a dairy-free alternative, which was used extensively in sweet and savory dishes.

In the Middle East, almond-based desserts have been enjoyed for centuries, often featuring ingredients like almond paste and rosewater to enhance the flavors.

Almond Pudding found its way into British and American cookbooks during the 19th century, evolving into various regional adaptations. Over time, this creamy dessert became a symbol of comfort and sophistication, favored for its velvety texture and nutty undertones.

The almond’s timeless appeal, combined with the ease of preparing almond-based puddings, has ensured that this dessert remains a beloved treat cherished by all generations.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup blanched almonds (almonds with their skins removed)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • Sliced almonds, toasted, for garnish
  • Fresh berries or fruit compote

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Begin by blanching the almonds if they are not already blanched. To blanch almonds, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the almonds and let them boil for 1-2 minutes. Drain them and rinse under cold water. The skins should easily slip off when you press the almonds between your fingers.
  2. In a blender or food processor, grind the blanched almonds until they become a fine almond meal.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the almond meal with half of the granulated sugar (1/4 cup). Mix well to evenly distribute the sugar.
  4. In a saucepan, heat the whole milk over medium heat until it starts to steam, but do not let it boil.
  5. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water to create a smooth paste.
  6. Slowly pour the cornstarch paste into the steaming milk, whisking continuously to avoid lumps.
  7. Add the almond and sugar mixture to the milk mixture and continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
  8. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the almond extract and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
  9. Pour the almond pudding into individual serving dishes or a single large serving bowl.
  10. Allow the pudding to cool at room temperature for a while before refrigerating. This will help it set further.
  11. Cover and refrigerate the almond pudding for at least 2-3 hours, or until it’s nicely chilled and set.
  12. Optionally, garnish with toasted sliced almonds before serving for added texture and visual appeal. Fresh berries or fruit compote also make delightful accompaniments.
  13. Serve the Almond Pudding chilled and savor the nutty elegance of this timeless dessert.

 

NOTES:

  • Almond Pudding captures the essence of timeless elegance and the rich, comforting flavors of almonds. It’s a dessert that transcends generations and borders, delighting all who taste its creamy and nutty embrace.

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