Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Stovetop Rice Pudding with Cherries

I think that this pudding will become part of my standard repertoire. It is exceedingly versatile, being uniquely comforting whether hot, room temperature, or cold. It is so soothing on a cold night. I imagine it will be equally soothing, chilled, on a hot summer's night. This is a smooth, rich pudding, and the cherries are a nice contrast. It's also a very quick recipe, and perfect for entertaining. It's one of those things that will get you a lot of love when you make it-- it joins souls. The recipe is extensively modified from a recipe from Bon Appetit, April 1997.

Stovetop Rice Pudding with Cherries

4 c plus 1 T whole milk
1/2 c arborio rice
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t cardamom
1/4 t dried Valencia orange peel

1 1/2 t cornstarch
3 large eggs
3/4 c dried tart cherries
2 oz white chocolate
2 t vanilla extract
1 t lemon juice

Combine 4 c milk, rice, sugar, and spices (cinnamon through orange peel) in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until rice is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 to 25 minutes. Start checking tenderness at about 15 minutes-- you don't want the rice to turn to mush.

Whisk cornstarch and 1 T milk in large bowl. Add eggs; whisk. Whisk in hot rice mixture and return to saucepan. Add cherries; stir over low or medium heat just until mixture comes to a boil. Mix in white chocolate, vanilla, and lemon juice, till chocolate is melted. Serve warm or refrigerate under plastic wrap.

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