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~ Put the Rum and the Coconut in the Rice Pudding ~

IMG_1835If, like me, you're a rice pudding lover, you'll eat it whenever offered.  That said, as a rice pudding lover, until now, I never thought of it as a Summer dessert.  This time of year, my mindset naturally turns to fruit or berry pie, shortcake, sorbet and ice cream as a perfect ending to a meal. Then, last night on a whim, I put the rum and the coconut in the rice pudding.  Served warm on a starry night, or cold on a sun-drenched afternoon, this Island-style version of rice pudding is a fine finale to any Caribbean-themed feast, or, more specifically, Jamaican jerk-style chicken, ribs, or wings.  There's more, it's baked in a low oven, not slow simmered on the stovetop (which frees up your hands to work on dinner prep), and, it turns out as creamy as any stovetop version.  

IMG_17594  ounces arborio rice (about 1/2 cup)

4  ounces golden raisins (about 3/4 cup)

2  13 1/2 ounce cans coconut milk, plus enough whole milk to total 4 cups liquid

2  tablespoons butter-rum flavoring

2  extra-large eggs

10  tablespoons granulated sugar (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons)

2  ounces salted butter (4 tablespoons)

Cinnamon-Sugar, for topping and garnish

IMG_1762 IMG_1762 IMG_1762 IMG_1762 IMG_1762~Step 1.  In a 1-quart measuring container, place the coconut milk, then add enough whole milk to total 4 cups.  In a 3-quart saucier or a 4-quart saucepan, stir together the coconut milk, arborio rice, golden raisins and butter rum flavoring.  Set aside for 15-20 minutes, to allow rice time to soften a bit and raisins time to plump a bit.  During this wait time:

IMG_1777 IMG_1777 IMG_1777 IMG_1777 IMG_1777 IMG_1777 IMG_1777 IMG_1777~Step 2.  In a 2-cup measuring container, use a fork to vigorously whisk eggs.  Add and vigorously whisk in the sugar.  Set aside about 5 minutes, then whisk again, to ensure sugar has dissolved.  In a small ramekin or bowl, melt butter in microwave, then set set aside to cool about 5 minutes. Using the fork, whisk the melted butter into the egg/sugar mixture.

IMG_1794 IMG_1794 IMG_1794~Step 3.  Place  coconut milk mixture over low heat. Stirring frequently throughout process, heat until mixture is steaming and showing signs of simmering around the perimeter of the pan.  Remove from heat.

IMG_1803 IMG_1803 IMG_1803 IMG_1803~Step 4.  Two tablespoons at a time, drizzle and whisk some of the hot coconut milk into the egg mixture, to temper the eggs -- this will prevent them from scrambling when whisked into the hot coconut milk mixture.  In a slow steady stream, while stirring constantly with the spoon, drizzle the egg mixture into the coconut milk mixture.  There will be a generous 6 cups of pudding mixture.

IMG_1814 IMG_1817 IMG_1817 IMG_1817~Step 5.  Transfer pudding mixture to a 2-quart casserole.  Bake on center rack of 300° oven (no higher) for 1 hour.  Almost all liquid will have been absorbed by the rice and pudding will be lightly browned in spots on top, and sort of "jiggly" too.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with Cinnamon-Sugar, and set aside about 1 1/2 hours (or longer) prior to serving warm or at room temperature.

Served warm on a starry Summer night, it's divine:

IMG_1834Served cold on a sun-drenched Summer afternoon, it's sublime:

IMG_1852Put the Rum and the Coconut in the Rice Pudding:  Recipe yields 6 cups baked rice pudding/6-12 servings.

Special Equipment List: 1-quart measuring container; 3-4-quart saucier or 4-quart saucepan; large spoon; 2-cup measuring container; fork; ramekin or small bowl; 2-quart au gratin-type casserole or any shallow 2-quart casserole

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c950509c970bCook's Note: ~ My Creamy, Orange-Kissed Arborio Rice Pudding ~.  Technically, while rice pudding is not a custard per se, this type of rice pudding is prepared in the manner of custard, which is:  a sweetened egg/milk mixture that has been cooked gently on the stovetop or baked in a low oven. Stirred custards are usually made in a double boiler, while baked custards get cooked in a warm water bath, which is not the case in most rice pudding recipes. That said, "custard" was the best term I could think of to describe its preparation.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019.


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