At the ripe age of 30+ years old, I realised I had never had rice pudding in my life. Which is quite strange considering some of my grandparents were quite fond of it, and my sister had had an acute rice pudding phase for a while (she even made it with basmati rice, but I think that’s because she’d just grabbed the first box of rice she’d found in the cupboard).
I know, that’s quite unbelievable. But it’s one of those dishes that Mama never made and somehow, when dining out, it never occurred to me to order some.
Rice pudding is a dessert found all around the world. Recipes vary but the basic ingredients are the same: rice, milk, sweetener and spices – some recipes also include eggs. In Europe and in the US, rice pudding is usually partially cooked on the stove and then finished in the oven.
For my take on rice pudding, I decided to use Arborio rice, which is usually used in risotto. When I visited Italy in September, I came back with 2 kilos (4 lbs) of risotto rice. I figured it would be a different way of using it.
How about you? What type of rice do you use for rice pudding?
- 250g / 8.8 oz. / 2½ cups Arborio rice
- 1L / 4 cups coconut milk
- 80g / 2.8 oz. / ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder
- Optional: orange, lemon or lime zest
- Garnish: toasted coconut, ground cinnamon
In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil.
Simmer over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and the sauce is thick and creamy, about 30-40 minutes.
Let cool slightly.
Spoon the risotto into bowls, garnish with toasted coconut or cinnamon, and serve.