Sunday, February 1, 2009

Citrus Rice Pudding

I have a thing for homemade pudding (not out of the box either). So I have been trying out a few different methods, and I think this is the one I will be sticking with and working out the kinks until it gets to exactly the way I want it. If you like rice pudding at all, then you need to try this method; baking it slowly in the oven as opposed to over the stove top lends to and amazing consistency where the rice just melts in your mouth, and the citrus peel infuses itself throughout and absorbs the sugar so it is easily edible. Next time I think I might try making it with coconut milk.

Citrus Rice Pudding
adapted from More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin

2 citrus fruits of a different variety (lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, lime, etc)
1/2 cup white rice, jasmine or Basmati
4 cups whole milk
7 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
2 Tbs rum (optional)

Preheat the oven to 250F. Peel the citrus with a vegetable peeler and cut the peel into very fine short strips. Be sure not to get any of the pith with the peel, otherwise it will make the pudding somewhat bitter. As you can see I accidentally got a little pith in mine.

Mix the peel, rice, sugar, milk, vanilla, and rum (optional) in an ovenproof dish. Put in the oven and cook uncovered for about 2 1/2 hours, stirring every 45 minutes or so. By the way, it will make your kitchen smell heavenly. If you use skim or low fat milk, you may want to keep it in there longer.

It will thicken considerably as it cools. It's great straight out of the oven, or cooled in the fridge.

I used skim milk in the recipe because that's what I happened to have and it turned out a bit more runny than I would have liked. I think next time I will use a milk with a higher percentage of fat (or coconut milk like I already mentioned). My citrus strips were a bit too thick for my liking, so I ended up picking out a lot of the big ones. I wonder how zest would work instead of the peel. Cinnamon might be a nice addition to the recipe as well, but the flavor is great simply as it is. Let me know if you try this out and tell me what works for you!

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