blancmange martha bakes
Photo: Mike Krautter

One of Martha's all-time favorite gelatin desserts, blancmange is like a large-format panna cotta. In French, 'blanc' means white and 'manger' means to eat. Martha ups the ante by making hers with cinnamon-steeped almond milk and just the right amount of cream.


  • 4 cups whole blanched almonds (1 ½ pounds)

  • 4 to 5 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin

  • Sugared white currants, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; bake 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Heat 4 cups whole milk, 1 1/2 cups water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan over medium until hot but not bubbling. Stir in almonds. Transfer to a liquid-measuring cup and let steep, covered, in refrigerator overnight or up to 2 days. (The longer the mixture steeps, the more flavor the blancmange will have.)

  2. Fill a 4- to 4 1/2-cup or two 2- to 2 1/2-cup molds with ice water. Rinse a large piece of heavy-duty cheesecloth (if thin, use a double layer) in hot water; wring as dry as possible. Place a sieve over a bowl, line sieve with prepared cheesecloth, and pour in almond mixture. Let almond milk drip through 30 minutes, then carefully gather up ends of cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Almond milk should be smooth; if any pieces of almond pass through, strain through a very fine sieve. Discard cinnamon sticks. Pour almond milk into a large liquid-measuring cup (you should have at least 3 cups) and add enough of the remaining 1 cup whole milk to make 4 cups liquid.

  3. In a medium saucepan, combine cream and 1 cup almond milk. Sprinkle gelatin over top; let stand until softened, 5 minutes. Heat almond-milk mixture over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir gelatin mixture into remaining almond milk in measuring cup. Remove ice water from mold but do not dry mold (this will make the blancmange easier to unmold later). Strain almond-milk mixture through a sieve into mold to fill. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until firm, about 6 hours or overnight.

  4. To unmold, quickly dip mold into a hot-water bath to loosen pudding from mold, or use a hot wet towel that has been wrung out. Place a serving platter over mold and quickly invert. Jiggle to loosen; remove mold. Serve with currants, if desired.

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