My apologies on the delay, as some happenings have prevented me from posting. The full write up will be up soon, but please enjoy the recipe!
Arborio rice pudding with Calvados and cinnamon caramel
A lovely, comforting treat, which boasts a risotto-like consistency but requires minimal effort.
3 1/2 cups milk/cream mixture (I used 2 3/4 cups milk and 3/4 cups 10% cream, but use whatever is on hand or what suits your tastes)
1/2 cup Arborio or other short-grain white rice
1 vanilla bean
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons Calvados
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
Cinnamon caramel sauce (recipe follows)
Combine the milk and cream (if using) and rice in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape in the seeds into the liquid, drop in the pod as well. Bring the milk to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer until the rice is tender, stirring frequently, about 20-25 minutes. Discard the vanilla bean. Add the sugar, Calvados and heavy cream (if using), stirring well to dissolve. Cook until the mixture thickens to your desired consistency, about 5 to 10 minutes longer.
Spoon the rice pudding into bowls. Cover and refrigerate until cold (preferably overnight if you can wait that long, but 3-4 hours should suffice). Serve with the warm caramel sauce.
Cinnamon caramel sauce
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
Reduce the vanilla in the recipe to 1/2 teaspoon. Make the sauce as per instructions, adding the cinnamon at the same stage as the vanilla. If the cinnamon is added too soon, the heat from the caramel will toast the spice, adding a slightly bitter note.
• Alternatively, omit the caramel sauce entirely and simply sprinkle the pudding with a bit of cinnamon sugar (Demerara works especially well here). To gild the lily so to speak, you can lightly torch the cinnamon sugar for a brûléed effect – I love the contrast between the crisp spiced sugar and the almost custard-like pudding below.
• Other flavour and spice combinations work well in the method, such as Grand Marnier and ginger.
• To prevent a skin from forming while chilling, make sure to press down a layer of cling film against the top of the rice pudding.