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Amaranth Pudding with Amaretto Cream
2 h 45 m
“Amaranth grains, which are as tiny as poppy seeds, make this comforting, amaretto-spiked pudding creamy and delicious. ”
3-3½ cups water
1½ cups amaranth (see Tips)
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
¾ cup half-and-half
¾ cup nonfat milk
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
Amaretto Cream & Topping
½ cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons amaretto liqueur, plus more for drizzle
16 amaretti cookies, divided
1To prepare pudding: Combine 3 cups water, amaranth and cinnamon stick in a large heavy pan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the amaranth is tender and translucent, 18 to 20 minutes. Add ¼ to ½ cup more water if the amaranth starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Discard the cinnamon stick.
2Stir in half-and-half, milk, turbinado sugar, 2 tablespoons amaretto, vanilla and salt; return to a simmer, stirring continuously. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle bubble and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture resembles a thick porridge, 3 to 5 minutes more. Reduce heat further, if necessary, to prevent the pudding from sticking to the pan. (Use caution as you stir: the mixture can splatter as it bubbles.) Divide the pudding among 8 small serving dishes (about ⅔ cup each). Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.
3To prepare amaretto cream & topping: When you're ready to serve, whip cream, confectioners' sugar and 2 teaspoons amaretto in a medium bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. Crush 8 cookies with your fingers to get coarse crumbs. Top each pudding with about 1 tablespoon of the whipped cream and 1 tablespoon cookie crumbs. Garnish each bowl with 1 whole cookie and a little drizzle of amaretto, if desired.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare pudding (Steps 1 & 2) up to 2 days ahead.
Tips: Amaranth, rich in protein and minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, has been cultivated in Central America for an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 years. When cooked, it has a thick, porridge-like texture—great in soups, stews, breakfast porridge or puddings. Find it in the natural-foods section of well-stocked supermarkets or in natural-foods stores.
To Make It Gluten-Free: Most Italian amaretti cookies are made without ingredients that contain gluten, but not all brands are made in a gluten-free facility. If you are gluten-sensitive, use almond flavored gluten-free cookies for the topping instead.