Sunday, November 01, 2009

Rice pudding

Rice pudding! So easy, so yummy. This version has a hint of cardamom that gives a warmly exotic background flavor. I think next time maybe I'll use some coconut milk as well. Warning: these pictures are all very white. There's a nice yellow egg yolk that adds a pop of color at one point, but for the most part it is white city.Start with 1/2 cup of arborio rice. You can use regular long grain rice too--I just thought the extra-creaminess from arborio would be nice here. Combine the rice in a pot with 1/2 cup sugar, a generous 1 tablespoon of butter and a teeny pinch of salt.Add 1 quart whole milk...Stirring, bring this whole mixture to a boil over medium heat. After it comes to a boil, immediately reduce the heat and simmer it uncovered, stirring frequently, until the rice is very tender. This takes maybe about 45 minutes or so. I added a handful of golden raisins in after about 30 minutes of cooking but Angelica has informed me that these are a polarizing ingredient so you can, of course, leave them out.When it is about finished cooking, get 1 egg in a bowl.Turn the heat off from under the pot and scoop out some of your hot rice/milk mixture. Gently mix it into your egg--this is called tempering. If you just added a beaten egg all at once into your pot of hot rice & milk, your egg would cook and the whites would set. You don't want that because then it wouldn't be pudding, it would just be hot milky rice with stringy eggy bits. So tempering is important--a slightly annoying step, but it is worth it.Now mix the tempered egg back into your rice mixture, along with about 1/2 cup of heavy cream (confession: I did not really measure this. Just drizzled it in) and 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon and cardamom. It will thicken up slightly and will get even thicker as it cools, so don't worry if it appears runny.Let it set in a pan in the fridge for at least an hour. Delicious. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top of each serving for prettiness, which I forgot to do. This makes about 4 dessert-sized servings so you can always double it up if you're having friends over. Friends who love rice pudding.

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