Thursday, June 25, 2009

Amaretto & Poppyseed Pudding with Cranberries

I sought something sweet but didn't feel like putting too much effort in to it. I was yearning for something cold and creamy that I'd never had before. So, I looked into the cupboard to see what I have. That's my M.O... I make stuff from stuff that I have. I found almond milk, cornstarch, sugar, sweetened dried cranberries and amaretto. Did someone say pudding? Oh, but this is not your typical pudding, this, I daresay, is luscious and verrrrrrry sensual.

I just love bitting in to poppyseeds and they look so pretty freckling the creamy, dreamy scented pudding. I added the cranberries to further provide color contrast but also to give it a slight tartness. If you don't like Amaretto or just don't want to have to buy a bottle just for this recipe, I suggest almond axtract or plain ol' vanilla.

This dessert is so cheap (about .25 per serving) and easy and even kinda fancy! AND it's light. AND low-fat AND low-cal AND even gluten-free.

Would be awesome in crepes or served as a parfait with layers of crushed cookies.

Amaretto Poppyseed Pudding with Cranberries

(serves 4)

2 cups almond milk (or soymilk)
1/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you like your puddings really sweet)
3 tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
3 tbsp Amaretto (can substitute 1 tbsp almond extract or good vanilla extract)
1 tbsp poppyseeds
1 tsp lemon zest
pinch of salt
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
garnish with toasted, slivered almonds and cranberries

In saucepan whisk together milk, sugar, starch, amaretto, poppyseeds and salt until all lumps disappear. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly to avoid lumps, about 5 minutes or until thick.

Pour into serving dish and let cool about 10 minutes and then refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. Tip: if you put it into a large shallow dish, thereby increasing surface area, you can cut the cooling time in the fridge to an hour or less. Make sure to cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pudding to prevent "pudding skin".

Serve cold--garnish with toasted nuts and more cranberries. I served mine in a highball glass--to fancify even more, try a martini glass, like all the frou-frou chefs are doing nowadays.