Delicious creamy vanilla rice pudding is a quick and simple classic comfort dish. I like to serve it warm as a breakfast during winter time. Rice pudding is nicely paired with caramelized fruits such as apples or pears. New season pears are amazingly delicious this time of the year!
I have been cooking this dish for many years since my grandmother taught me how to cook it. But over the years the dish has been transformed into my own quick and easy version of rice pudding. This is a healthy and vegan version, but the recipe is very versatile, so you can play around and use your favorite ingredients or seasonal fruits.
For rice pudding, I recommend using short grain rice. I like to use sushi rice. Sushi rice is usually thoroughly washed and soaked before cooking to remove excess of starch. If you skip these steps, you will get a perfect pudding, starch and milk will create a wonderful creamy sauce. Arborio and Carnaroli rice ( Risotto rice) are also suitable here.
Usually, rice for pudding is cooked in milk. But this increases the chance that the milk will begin to burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
So I cook rice in the usual way first, but with less water. When the rice is almost ready I add hot milk infused with vanilla. Sushi rice can absorb a huge amount of liquid and flavors.
Another reason to cook the rice separately, if you use almond or coconut milk, it is very often not suitable for long cooking. Coconut milk often curdling if it is not fatty enough. Some varieties of nut milk can be curdled too, depends on the thickening agents in them. Choose nut milk for baristas, they can keep the high temperature well.
- 1 1/2 Cup Sushi Rice
- 1 1/2 Cups water
- 2 Cups almond milk, coconut milk or plain milk
- 1 Vanilla pod
- 2 Tbsp Maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
For Caramelized Pears:
- 4 Small firm pears (I use Taylor Gold Pears), sliced
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or ghee butter)
- 1/2 Cup dried black currants or raisins
- Milk or cream
- Fresh mint
- Bring the rice to a boil over high heat in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid. I use proportion one to one with water. As soon as it comes to a boiling point change the heat to a minimum. Cook until the rice absorbs all the water.
- Meanwhile, place the milk in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean open and scrape the seeds into the milk. Bring the milk to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat and allow the flavors to infuse for about 15 minutes.
- Add warm strained milk, salt and maple syrup to rice, mix well and cook a few minutes more. Let the rice to absorb some amount of the milk. Add more milk if needed.
- Caramelized pears. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add pears, sugar and two tablespoons of water. Cook until all liquid evaporated, then reduce heat to medium and cook till browned, stirring occasionally.
- Serve the rice pudding warm with caramelized pears, dried black currants, and mint leaves. Enjoy!