For Christmas, Melinda gave me this cookbook and it has been sitting on my shelf ever since. I loved it and loved recipes in it and always had intentions of making something out of it, but had not done so yet. Until last night that is. Yesterday while looking at a blog, I saw a recipe from the book and it was for Rice Pudding. Lately I have been on a huge rice pudding kick and I think it's because it reminds me of when I was little and I would go to lunch with my Grandma and once a week we would get rice pudding. I have always loved it and have made it before but definitely not the way this recipe called for.
I spent an hour and a half, bare foot and slaving over the hot stove (haha had to throw that in) but it was well worth it. That was the best rice pudding I've ever had and if you need a great dessert to cook for a dinner party or any party for that matter, I would highly recommend this. Note, this is not something to "whip" up. It takes time, and a lot of stirring, but still worth it :)Also, I did not use a vanilla bean and only used the pure vanilla extract that it called for and it turned out just fine.
I wish I could take credit for this photo, but it's the one from the cookbook and that's probably my favorite thing about the book, the gorgeous photos. It really did look like that too!
1/2 cup Arborio rice
8 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Combine the rice, milk, sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon, and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring every 5minutes as the mixture starts to thicken, for about 30 minutes. Continue cooking until the rice is tender but not too mushy, about 15 minutes longer. The milk will be thick and the rice tender, but the mixture will still be very soupy, which is what you want. (As the pudding cools, it thickens, and if it is too thick while still hot, it will firm up into a thick, stodgy lump with out the unctuous creaminess of a great rice pudding.)
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and cream together and stir into the rice pudding. Continue cooking the pudding over medium-low heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the eggs are cooked through and pudding is creamy and glossy, but still fairly soupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Grate a little nutmeg, if you like, into the pudding. Remove the vanilla pod. Pour the pudding into a serving bowl and press plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 to 3 hours. Serve cold.
Note: This pudding is delicious as it is, or you can fold a dollop of whipped cream into each serving, or layer the pudding in a parfait glass with dulce de leche or caramel sauce, or just drizzle some sauce on top before serving.