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Arborio Rice Pudding

Arborio Rice Pudding

The changing of the seasons is always an uncertain time in weather and in food. Lately, I fear the former simply is incapable of making up its mind. Like a Katy Perry song, one day the weather can be warm and sunny, swelling with new life, and the next it can be dark and damp, cutting with a miserable wind. This last week the mornings have been so gloomy, one look towards the window and I am apt to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep. Yet, as soon as I get to work in the afternoons, the weather perks up, the sun shines, and the wind disappears.

It's just not fair.

Arborio Rice Pudding Arborio Rice Pudding

Until the erratic weather eases into a regular pattern, it seems my attempts at menu planning won't either. When the weather feels like spring, all I want to eat is fruit and greens and cold cereal. Light foods are welcome (as well as the occasional bowl of chocolate ice cream). But when the weather turns for the worst, I cling to winter's casseroles and hearty filling soups. Cream and butter become most desirable (though my waistline may not agree).

It's a ridiculous dilemma, but nevertheless one I run into when filling the pantry from the supermarket.

Arborio Rice Pudding

This week, however, I tried to beat Mother Nature at her own game with a little bowl of rice pudding. It's an innocuous dessert, but one that can be enjoyed warm or cold, perfect for when the weather—and I—cannot make up its mind. For a twist, I sprinkled a little sugar on top and bruleed it until golden. It's a simple way to take a classic dessert and turn it something truly special.

When eating this by the spoonful, I like to imagine that just once I beat Mother Nature at her own game.

Arborio Rice Pudding

This Arborio Rice Pudding is sweet, creamy, and comforting. I used Arborio rice instead of white rice because Arborio rice maintains a great firmness and creaminess (as in risotto). I bruleed the top like creme brulee to add a fun and caramelized flavor to the overall pudding. Adding fruit or a sprinkling of cinnamon makes this rice pudding easy to customize to precisely your tastes.

One Year Ago: Orange Scones

Arborio Rice Pudding
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yields 4 servings

1/2 cup Arborio rice (not traditional white rice)
4 cups whole milk
1/3 cup sugar, plus extra for topping
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Fresh fruit, optional

In a large saucepan, bring the Arborio rice, milk, and 1/4 cup sugar to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until rice is tender and pudding has reached desired thickness. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and fresh fruit, if desired.

Pudding may be served warm or chilled.

Just before serving, place pudding into heat-resistant serving dishes. Sprinkle 2-3 teaspoons sugar on top of each serving and, using a kitchen torch, brulee the topping until golden (not burnt!). Alternatively, place oven on broil and, with the rack on the highest notch, broil the sugar topping until just golden. Watch very closely!

Reader Comments (15)

Oh I love this, a bruleed rice pudding...amazing! Bookmarking (and wanting) right now :-)
03.29.2012 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf
I love the brule topping on these. What a great idea :D
I've never had rice pudding and I'm both scared and intrequed by it. I really would like to taste some, but I remember tasting that gross tapioka pudding when I was younger and just think it will taste like that. But you make this look so delicious, especially with the bruleed top :)
Rice pudding brulée... love the idea. Now that you know how to use Arborio rice, you should start making a risotto.
Rice pudding is such a classic and you kicked this up perfectly. Love it!
Just wrote about my changing cravings too when the seasons change... This arborio rice pudding is something I always wanna eat: true comfort and I love the way you captured that in those gorgeous pictures!
03.29.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDenise
It looks like some time of molasses or darm caramel is on the bottom and swirled around sides? Can you descirbe what it is we're seeing there? Thank you!!! I'll be making this recipe soon!!! :)
03.29.2012 | Unregistered CommenterShirley
this sounds delicious! and your photography is just rad!!! have a lovely day, xx
Love the presentation in jam jars!
04.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara
I love the Janet Evanovich quote you used! Beautiful post.
04.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmily R
Bruleed Rice Pudding sounds like an Absolutely Delicious idea!!! They look amazing and I love that you chose to present them in those beautiful jars!!! Your photograpy is wonderful. And I LOVE that used a quote from the Stephanie Plum Novels...great stories from a phenomenal author.
04.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim C
My father is a HUGE fan of rice pudding, so to welcome him home from a business trip I decided to try this out. It was a fabulous success!!! Thank you so much, Kristin. I added 1/2 c raisins and a couple shakes of cinnamon to taste. I highly recommend this (:
08.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLina
My husband grew up eating rice pudding and he states this one is a keeper!!!
09.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLulee
WOW! The BEST rice pudding I have ever made. I stumbled across this because I didn't have any short grain rice (traditional English rice pudding) in the cupboard but wanted rice pudding for a dinner party. I put a little strawberry jam at the bottom of each pot for the colour. Also I used half skimmed milk and half double cream. Thank you. Am going to try the orange scones now. PS I made the pudding a few hours before I needed it, obviously a skin formed but I just stirred that in, gently reheated the pudding before putting it in jars. Very easy. Seconds all round!
12.2.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBev
This rice pudding was so creamy. I think I'm making my rice pudding like this from now on!!thanks for the recipe!
02.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

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