Rice forms the staple diet of 60 per cent of the world’s population. This recipe is for a sweetly scented slow cooked rice pudding. The rice is left to just mooch along in the oven, absorbing the milk and flavourings in its own good time — traditionally, in the same time that it takes to cook a roast meal.
But rice pudding and nursery food nostalgia is not unique to Britain. In the Middle East, sweet rice is fragrant with rosewater and cinnamon. In Bali, rice pudding is made with glutinous rice, sticky with palm sugar and scented with pandanus leaves. So there is an opportunity to make this rice pudding your own by adding the flavours and additional ingredients you love.
Slow cooked rice pudding goes beautifully with baked pears, fruit compotes, boozy prunes or poached early season rhubarb.
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 2 hours
100g pudding rice
1litre Oat Drink
zest of half a lemon
100g caster sugar
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
Preheat the oven to 140C/Gas 1. Put the butter in a flameproof pie dish over a gentle heat, and, when melted, add the sugar stir in the rice and coat well. Add the Oat Drink, zest of half a lemon, bay leaf and of nutmeg and stir for a minute or two.
Split the vanilla pod in half lengthwise (if using) and scrape the seeds into the rice, then add the pod itself. Bake the rice pudding for two hours, breaking the skin and stirring it in twice during the first hour, then allowing the skin to settle and brown. The rice should be set but still a little squishy inside.
Serve in glass jars with berries or your favourite poached fruit.
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