Chinese Almond Float with Fresh Fruit is the perfect summer dessert when you’re looking for something cool, refreshing and light to top off a meal.
Today, I’m participating in The Recipe ReDux’s “Healthy Recipe with Spirit” themed event, where participants are sharing recipes that include spirits, extracts and other alcohols. I chose almond extract for my spirit. My youngest son loves the flavor of almonds in ice cream and other sweets, so I thought I’d test this healthy dessert out on him.
One of my favorite summer desserts when I was growing up was Chinese Almond Float. We used to eat it with canned fruit cocktail, although I’m not sure why. Perhaps when this dessert was first made by Chinese families that immigrated to the U.S., fresh fruit was not readily available; the syrup that canned fruit comes with also might have served as an easy way to sweeten this light dessert.
In the olden days, almond float was made with ground almonds and agar agar. This modern Americanized version uses almond milk (for a dairy-free alternative) and gelatin for simplicity’s sake. I’ve freshened up this refreshing summer dessert with some fresh mango, pineapple and longan fruit (I happened to find some at the local Asian market). Drizzled with a little organic simple syrup, and topped with a dye-free maraschino cherry, this Chinese Almond Float with Fresh Fruit is perfect for a summer dessert – light and refreshing and just lightly sweet.
Chinese Almond Float with Fresh Fruit
- 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1 3/4 cups cold water
- 3 tablespoons organic sugar
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
Organic Simple Syrup
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup water
- fresh mango diced
- fresh pineapple chunks
- fresh longan or lychee if available
- dye-free maraschino cherries
Place 1/2 cup cold water in a bowl; sprinkle gelatin on top and stir until dissolved.
Bring remaining 1 1/4 cup water to boil; stir in sugar to dissolve and pour over gelatin mixture. Stir until mixture is clean. Add almond milk and almond extract. Pour into 9"x13" pan. Refrigerate until set.
Organic Simple Syrup
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan; stir to dissolve; cool. Store in refrigerator. You will only need a little bit for this dessert.
Cut almond gelatin into squares and spoon into serving dishes. Serve with diced mango, pineapple chunks, longan, and a cherry on top. Drizzle with a little organic simple syrup.
Adapted from Rhonda Yee's Dim Sum Cookbook.
Marjory @ Dinner-Mom says
What a fun spin adding almond goodies to the gelatin! So fresh too with all the fruit!
Thanks Marjory – this is a childhood favorite of mine!
Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes says
I just love the name of this and your modern take on it. I love almond extract, and was just writing a recipe this morning with it. Ha ha. I will keep an eye out for longan and those cherries (I have had pickled veggies by Tillen farm and love them.)
Thanks Katie – my mom used to make almond cookies with almond extract too and it was a favorite.
I’ve never heard of the dessert, but I love the remake with fresh fruit!
Carolyn – so funny but for some reason we always had this with canned fruit when Iw as growing up even though my mom always had fresh fruit around.
Oh my goodness, this was one of my favorite desserts growing up too. Haha, yes my parents would serve it up with canned fruit cocktail too 🙂 Yours looks amazing and I love that you used fresh fruit in here 🙂
So funny Kelly – it’s definitely a childhood memory for me. Not sure why we used fruit cocktail but I definitely prefer the fresh fruit these days.
Cookin Canuck says
My mum used to buy the canned fruit cocktail on occasion. It was always such a treat for the kids! This fresh fruit version, with the almond twist, sounds wonderful.
Canned fruit cocktail must have been popular at some point – so interesting. I can’t remember the last time I bought a can, but I’m guessing it was comparable to the fresh fruit salad that is more readily available these days.
I have never had this lovely dessert, but I need to for sure try it soon. I love how it screams Summer! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra
Christine at Cook the Story says
This is such a great summer treat. Very pretty!
I’m minorly obsessed with all things almond-infused so this sounds perfect! Especially since I’m trying to not eat so much sugar but still want a sweet treat at the end of the day.
Cindys Recipes and Writings says
Sounds like a perfect summer appetizer or dessert, Jeanette!
This sounds amazing. Next week we will have an end of summer heat wave so I will make this. The kids will love the almond gelatin! Thanks, Jeanette!
Lena – hope you have a chance to try this – it’s very refreshing!