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Almond Custard

There are many ways of substituting for cream. You could use sweetened coconut milk, or beat tofu with a little sugar in a blender until smooth, or use soybean milk. This is an old-fashioned but more delicious way. Although a Russian recipe, it bears a striking resemblance to Chinese almond pudding! Don't use commercial ready-ground or blanched almonds; they will be too dry to produce good milk. To blanch the almonds, soak in boiling water for a few minutes, then squeeze the skins off and dry well.

ingredients

serves 4
1 pound blanched almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup potato starch
4 drops almond extract
1 envelope kosher gelatin
4 tablespoons water

method

1. Grind the almonds in a food processor, then put in a saucepan and add water to cover.

2. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

3. Allow to cool slightly. Rinse a large piece of cheesecloth in cold water.

4. Arrange several layers of the cheesecloth over a bowl and strain the almond milk through it.

5. Combine the almond milk with the sugar and potato starch in a saucepan.

6. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until thickened, then remove from heat.

7. Dissolve the gelatin in the water and add to the almond milk.

8. Pour mixture into a bowl and let cool, then chill.

9. Serve alone as a dessert or use instead of cream to accompany other puddings.

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