Is there anything more comforting than pudding? I ask you. Isn’t this the hunker down, get cozy time of the year? With the weather getting cooler (and, after our scorching summer, even 80s are welcome) it's time for serious baking, soup and stew making, along with warm custards and puddings for dessert.
Today we’re going to talk pudding, the most comforting of which has to be rice pudding. Now I know there are tapioca aficionados out there, but there is just something about those spongy little balls that makes my hair stand on end, but I digress.
This soothing dessert is fragrant and flavorful. It can be made a day ahead and warmed in the microwave for about 45 seconds per serving to return it to its delicious creaminess. As this was a component of yet another meal delivered to my dad, I used small canning jars for easy transport, plus, it’s just so darned cute!
Basmati Rice Pudding with Vanilla Bean
2-1/2 cups whole milk
½ cup coconut milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup basmati rice
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon orange zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 Melissa's vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 teaspoon butter
Melissa’s Canela Cinnamon sticks*, for garnish (optional)
In a large saucepan, combine milk, coconut milk, cream, sugar, rice, cardamom, cinnamon, zest and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Be sure to keep a close watch on your mixture as it can boil over very quickly. Reduce heat. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add the seeds and bean to the mixture. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and mixture is thick and creamy, approximately 50 minutes. Remove vanilla bean. Stir in butter.
Divide pudding among four small serving dishes and garnish with chopped almonds, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a cinnamon stick.
*If you use cinnamon sticks with any regularity these are the ones that you want to buy. This is REAL cinnamon from Sri Lanka, not the Chinese variety sold under different names. My family is always worth the very best, and I’m sure yours is as well.