April 9, 2013

Rice Pudding with Orange Zest, Cardamom Pods and Rose Water

A good rice pudding is just delicious, isn't it?  This one is great- with some delicious accents and enough sweetness to make it a memorable dessert.  And super, super easy.  And can be made ahead.  What is not to like, right?

Rice Pudding with Orange Zest, Cardamom Pods and Rose Water
1 1/2 cups of water
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
pinch sea salt
zest of 1/2 of an orange
2 cardamom pods
1/2 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp rose water

In a medium pot with a lid (I use a medium sized round Le Creuset dutch oven with a lid) combine the water, butter, sea salt, orange zest and cardamom pods.  Bring this to a boil.  While this is heating, rinse your rice until the water runs clear, for me this was five times.  If the bowl you are using to rinse the rice is wide and deep, it will work better, allowing the grains to be rinsed better than if the bowl is more restrictive.  Once the mixture on the stove has come to a boil, reduce the heat to low, add the rice and cover.  Let this cook over low for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate pot, combine the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla (do not add the rose water yet).  Heat over low to medium heat to dissolve the sugar.  Stir occasionally.  After 20 minutes, add this to the pot with the rice in it.  Stir, cover, and cook an additional 45 minutes.

Now, we add the rose water.  Cover and cook an additional 15 minutes.  This next part I notice a lot of rice pudding recipes skip, and you get an incredible pudding skin, which I do not like!  Make an ice bath with two bowls, metal preferably, where the larger bowl is full of ice water and the smaller bowl may float in the ice water.  Be careful not to make the ice water so high that it fill come over the sides of the smaller bowl.  Gently spoon the rice pudding into the smaller bowl and place in the ice bath.  Stir every few minutes and leave in the ice bath for 30 minutes.  It will still be a little warm.  Rice pudding is delicious a little warm, either serve it and enjoy it like this or refrigerate it and enjoy it cold later.  Enjoy!

The picture that shows the rice pudding topped with cardamom pods and dried roses uses them only as decoration.  They are not very good to eat.  However, the cardamom pods that were cooked with the rice pudding are delicious- you can discard them or eat them.  Enjoy!