Rice pudding is one of those recipes I rarely cook, but whenever I do and the sweet smell permeates the house, I instantly remember how good it is.
If you don’t know, I used to be a porridge girl back when I lived in Brescia. I would prep a huge portion on the first night of the uni week, then reheat a smaller amount each morning. The main reason behind this was convenience – this would save me a lot of time in the morning and also money!
I was so obsessed with porridge I even took advantage of it and used the oaty meal as a subject for a booklet of recipes I was asked to develop for my graphic design class. I remember bringing the booklet to the still life professor, asking for feedback. It was the first time I ever heard of mood in photography – because I did it wrong start to finish!
Just for reference, here’s my favorite picture from the booklet. It was my second year at uni and I was starting to look at food photography with a closer eye, but I didn’t have a clear mind about how to do it properly. Pretty much all of the picutures there are dark and moody, which isn’t the best choice if you’re photographing the morning meal lol
When I returned home after my graduation I had porridge on and off, until I replaced it with a yogurt bowl and some fruit. The broken student era was over and I could have greek yogurt again!
Back to our rice pudding thing, I remember cooking a few other batches these past years, usually around Christmas time and without much success. There was something just wrong every time. I wasn’t happy with the flavor, or the texture of my rice pudding was off because I didn’t cook the rice right. Plant milk would yield either a bland or too heavy result. There were so many things to control even if the dish was rather simple!
One time I even tried using some leftover rice I cooked for lunch, hoping it would give me a creamier and smoother texture. Boy I was wrong. It was way too salty despite I had added a minimum amount, and definitely overcooked!
But this isn’t the case. After a fair amount of tweakings I can finally say I perfected my version of rice pudding. This rice pudding recipe is creamy, satisfying, sweet but not sickening, full of zingy winter spices, and vegan! It’s also healthy enough to be eaten for breakfast the next day. If you manage to save some I mean.
When it comes to pick the topping for your rice pudding, there’s no limit to creativity or preferences! This time I made a quick orange compote with winter spices. They actually come from a sachet of herbal tea I’m obsessed with at the moment. You can obviously brew yourself a cuppa, but the blend is also wonderful if used as you would regular spices!
My last note is about macerating orange segments in marsala wine overnight. This step isn’t crucial, so if you don’t like alcohol, you can just leave it out. I personally like the aroma and extra depth of flavor it gives, and it doesn’t bother me as the alcohol cooks off – but you do you!
I hope you’ll like this recipe as much as I do, and see you with the next post!
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Christmas calls for traditional and comforting meals, and this vegan rice pudding is perfect to serve on a gathering or just as a cosy snack on the couch!
- 200 g short grain or pudding rice
- 500 ml almond milk, unsweetened
- 500 ml rice-coconut milk
- 3 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 oranges
- 1 sachet Christmas spiced herbal tea
- 1 tbsp raw sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp marsala wine
Suprme two oranges and transfer the pieces to a glass container, along with the content of the tea bag, cinnamon, marsala wine if you use it, and sugar. Mix well, cover and leave to macerate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
When you’re ready, transfer the macerated orange and all the juices in a small pot, and cook over low heat until the fruit breaks down and the liquid thickens, about 5-10′.
Transfer to a serving bowl or other container and set aside.
To a saucepan, add plant milk, lemon zest, vanilla, agave syrup and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and let steep, covered, for 5′.
Remove the lid, add in rice, return to the stove and bring to a boil once again. Simmer and mix with a wooden spoon every now and then, until all the liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked, about 20′.
You can have this rice pudding either hot or cold.
Scoop 1/4 of the recipe in each bowl, add a few dollops of orange compote, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and serve.