Toasted Almond Rice Pudding
For best flavor and texture, be sure this pudding is thoroughly chilled before serving. If you like cinnamon, sprinkle a generous amount on top.
- 1 ¼ cups blanched slivered almonds (5 oz.)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ cup uncooked rice (such as arborio, basmati or jasmine)
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cup plus 1 Tbs. maple syrup or ¼ cup plus 2 Tbs. maple sugar
- Fresh strawberries and mint sprigs for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds on baking sheet and bake until golden, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside to cool.
2. In medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water and salt to a boil over high heat. Add rice, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until water is absorbed and rice is tender, 16 to 20 minutes, depending on type of rice.
3. Meanwhile, chop 1/4 cup toasted almonds and set aside for garnish. In blender, combine remaining 1 cup toasted almonds and 1 cup water. Blend until mixture is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
4. Strain almond “milk” through cheesecloth into cooked rice in saucepan, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. (Or, strain “milk” through fine-mesh sieve several times before adding to rice.)
5. If using vanilla bean, scrape seeds into rice mixture with tip of knife then add bean, or stir in vanilla extract. Stir in maple syrup, return to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Transfer pudding to a bowl, removing vanilla bean if using. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
6. To serve, spoon rice pudding into dessert dishes, sprinkle with reserved almonds and garnish with strawberries and mint sprigs.