It’s Day 5 of Strawberry Week and it’s about time we share a delicious strawberry beverage with you – be sure to have a straw handy for this treat!
This recipe was first published in the New York Times as part of an article on different kinds of shaved ice. The paper’s Diner’s Journal blog asked readers to suggest different flavors, and I had to pick one and come up with a recipe. I chose horchata, a milky beverage often made with rice, because I thought it would go perfectly with the luscious, juicy strawberries that filled the market stands at that time. It’s worth seeking out Mexican cinnamon, as its flavor makes all the difference in this raspado. If you want a stickier, sweeter syrup, add another can of sweetened condensed milk.
Serves 4 to 6
1 3/4 cups blanched almonds
3/4 cup medium-grain rice
3 cups hot water
1 (3-inch) piece Mexican cinnamon stick
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (14-ounce) can evaporated milk
Pinch of salt
2 cups fresh strawberries
Ground Mexican cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roast 3/4 cup of the almonds until golden, about 8 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, then chop coarsely and set aside.
Combine the rice, water, cinnamon stick, and the remaining cup of almonds in a large container. Once the water is cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.
Working in batches, blend the rice mixture with the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and salt until as smooth as possible. If it’s still a little grainy, strain the syrup through a sieve or colander lined with a double layer of cheesecloth.
Just before serving, rinse and hull the strawberries, then mash them lightly with a fork. For each serving, put about 2 tablespoons of the strawberries in a serving dish. Mound about 1 cup of shaved ice on top of the strawberries, then drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons of the horchata syrup over the ice. Top with the toasted almonds and a dusting of cinnamon and serve immediately.
Copyright © 2011 by Fany Gerson.