4 cups milk
2/3 cup uncooked arborio rice
Pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (8-ounce) can dark cherries, drained, cut in half and juice discarded


1. Bring the milk, rice and salt to a boil in a 2-quart nonstick saucepan set on medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and keep at a slow boil for 10 minutes, stirring often.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the egg yolks, sugar, almond extract and vanilla, stirring to dissolve the sugar. With a glass measuring cup or ladle, remove about 1 cup of the milk/rice mixture from the pan and gradually whisk it into the egg mixture in the bowl. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pan with the remaining milk/rice mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed.
3. Continue cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the pudding sticking to the bottom of the pan. The pudding should become thick and coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the cherries and pour the pudding into a large serving bowl or individual dessert bowls.

To serve the pudding warm, Nick Stellino lets it cool at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. To serve chilled, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, covered.

Cherry Almond Rice Pudding
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