Sunday, March 23, 2014

Intense Rice Pudding With Brandied Raisins

Intense Rice Pudding with Brandied Raisins
Very loosely adapted from SmittenKitchen and Brown-Eyed Baker.

Thick, creamy rice pudding with an intense cinnamon vanilla hit.  For extra kick, steep cinnamon sticks and vanilla extract in the milk the night before.  The raisins are plumped up in warm brandy, and add a nice heady touch to the cozy pudding.  Talk about comfort food!  You’ll want to save the brandy you soaked the raisins in – it’s just as delicious as this pudding is, if in much smaller quantities.

Rice Pudding (makes lots of servings)
8 cups 2% milk (best as a single jug)
1 cup Arborio rice
¾ cups granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 bay leaf
2 short cinnamon sticks
1 whole clove
Vanilla extract
Powdered cinnamon
Brandied Raisins
½ cup raisins
¼ cup of 3:1 ratio of golden raisins : craisins
Enough brandy to cover the raisins (don’t use fancy brandy)

  1. The night before you make the pudding, open up the milk jug, slip in one whole clove, one to two 3-inch cinnamon sticks, and a healthy glug of vanilla extract (3 tbl).  Shake well.
  2.  Make the Brandied Raisins before you begin making the pudding.  (See below)
  3.  Combine sugar and rice in a large saucepan.  Pour the milk in through a strainer and remove the clove.  Make sure you have some room between the top of the milk and the rim of the saucepan, as the milk will froth up some.  Add the bay leaf and cinnamon sticks to the mix.  Sprinkle a little ground cinnamon in.
  4. Bring it to a gentle boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom.  Simmer for 40-60 minutes.  You will need to stir constantly for the last twenty minutes to prevent milk scum from forming.  You will know it’s done when it is almost as thick as porridge. 
  5. Remove cinnamon sticks and bay leaf.  Take off heat immediately and stir in more vanilla to taste.
  6.  Plating

a.       Serve in small individual bowls.
b.      Spoon a small amount of brandy raisins on the bottom, cover with a few spoonfuls of pudding.  Spoon a few more raisins on top, then cover with more pudding.  Sprinkle a little cinnamon as garnish.  Serve with dessert spoons.  Lick the bowls clean
Refrigerate in tupperware containers for up to a week.  It won’t last that long, believe me.  Makes a decadent breakfast, but do you really think you can resist?
Brandied Raisins
  1.  Add the raisin mix to a very small saucepan.
  2.  Pour in just enough brandy to cover the raisins.
  3. Bring brandy to a boil and take off heat immediately.  Cover and reserve for later
  4.  Once the pudding is done, strain the raisins from the brandy.  Save the brandy to drink later like a dessert appertiff – it tastes like heady liquid raisins!

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