Almonds are considered a symbol of fertility in many cultures. Legend has it that Samson wooed Delilah with the branch of an almond tree. Why the branch? Supposedly, the sweet aroma of the leaves and flowers arouses women.
Creamy Almond Pudding
This luscious pudding makes the perfect romantic dessert. To add even more romance, sprinkle the pudding with some edible rose petals before serving. (While almost all rose petals can be eaten, you want to make sure you are using pesticide free petals. Many specialty grocery stores sell edible flowers, and you can also check in with your local nursery for advice.)
6 tablespoons ground almonds
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups whole milk
1cup heavy cream
1/2 can (6 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Sliced almonds for garnish
In a deep, heavy-bottomed pan, combine the ground almonds and the cornstarch. Very slowly add the milk. Keep mixing to make sure there are no lumps. Now add the heavy cream. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly for about 20 minutes or until the mixture obtains a creamy consistency.
Add the condensed milk and simmer for another 10 minutes. The dish will have the consistency of oatmeal.
Add the lemon zest and mix well. Remove from heat. Serve hot or cold garnished with sliced almonds.