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Wheat Berry Pudding
“Here, wheat berries are cooked with maple-sweetened, spiced milk to make a homey pudding. Try it for dessert or even breakfast—adjusting the maple syrup to your preference.”
1 cup wheat berries, (see Note)
2 tablespoons plus 3 cups low-fat milk, divided
1 cinnamon stick
1 strip orange zest, ( ½ by 2 inches)
Pinch of salt
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup low-fat maple yogurt, (optional)
1Sort through wheat berries carefully; discard any stones. Rinse well. Place in a large heavy saucepan and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, adding more water if necessary, until the wheat berries are tender, about 1 hour. Drain well.
2Place the wheat berries and 2 tablespoons milk in a food processor. Pulse, scraping down the sides as necessary, until most of the wheat berries are coarsely chopped (some may remain whole).
3Combine the chopped wheat berries, the remaining 3 cups milk, cinnamon stick, orange zest and salt in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often to prevent sticking, until the mixture is very thick, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the cinnamon stick and orange zest. Stir in maple syrup and vanilla.
4Serve warm or chilled, sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with a dollop of maple yogurt, if desired. (Stir in more milk if the pudding gets too thick as it stands.)
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the cooked wheat berries (Step 1) for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Cover and refrigerate the pudding for up to 2 days.
Note: Wheat berries of any variety (hard, soft, spring or winter) can be used interchangeably. Labeling is inconsistent—you may find them labeled “hard red winter wheat” without the words “wheat berries.” Find them in natural-foods markets and online at kingarthurflour.com. Some recipes instruct soaking overnight, but we found it unnecessary.
To cook: Sort through wheat berries carefully, discarding any stones, and rinse with water. Bring 4 cups water or broth and 1 cup wheat berries to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, but still a little chewy, about 1 hour. Drain.