Weck juice jar
Unlike it's fermented cousin, kombucha, almond milk is no burgeoning health trend, the kind reserved for food blogs, hipster coffee shops, and calorie counters. Recipes appear throughout early French cookery, most notably Enseignments, a culinary scroll dating back to the 13th or 14th century. An essential component in later incarnations of blancmange (which, curiously, my Parisian husband has neither heard of nor eaten), the almond's genteel taste and potent thickening properties made it a hallmark of medieval cuisine. Since animal products have a limited shelf life, nut milk was the staple base of sauces, flans, and cuminade in a pre-refrigeration era. Almonds even prevent intoxication on an empty stomach, making them the natural companion for cocktails and aperitifs. This traditional French preparation is zero-waste, a rich, pseudo-scientific cure-all that tastes a million times better than the Tetrapak kind.
Lait d'amandes / Almond milk (From Menagier de Paris, p. 241)
1 cup sweet almonds, blanched (click here for at-home instructions)
4 tbsp ice water
2 cups hot water
In a mortar or blender, combine almonds and ice water. Grind or blend until a smooth paste results. Add hot water to paste. Leave 10 minutes before straining. Grind again and strain. Cool to store. Use the remaining almond pulp for hummus, ice cream, almond butter, or as a flour substitute. For homemade coconut milk, click here.