[recipe here, also see note]
Hooray!! I am back to TWD. Sorry I didn't get around to checking out everyone's Kugelhopfs, it's been a crazy couple of weeks. In non-baking news, my rugby team came in 3rd place in our national tournament ;) Of course we wanted to win, but 3rd is not too shabby! (See my pics here!)
Anyway, back to the pudding at hand, chosen by Isabelle of Les gourmandises d'Isa. Isabelle picked Arborio Rice Pudding, and Dorie gives a recipe for either White (vanilla) or Black (chocolate) rice pudding. Since I recently bought some vanilla beans online (thanks for the inspiration, CB!), I figured I would stick with vanilla flavoring.
I was also recently contacted by Sam of Oh! Nuts with a very generous offer of some free dried fruits. They sent over a ton of dried strawberries, cranberries and raspberries. I was pretty excited by the raspberries, since I've never seen those in a store, so I decided to soak them in some Chambord and add them in to the rice pudding. They were so delicious! I have some other plans for the rest of the dried fruit (if we don't eat them all first).
The pudding itself was, as Dorie says, elemental. Just rice, a little sugar, a lot of milk, and flavoring. I've never made risotto or anything, but I guess now that I've gotten the Arborio rice, I'm obligated to do it sometime soon;)
The rice after parboiling:
As I said before, I bought a bunch of vanilla beans online. I've never used real vanilla beans before because they are always ridiculously expensive at the store, so I handled them reverently.
The poor vanilla bean... about to be gutted.
I split it open and scraped out the caviar...
and added it to the milk and sugar mixture as it boiled. I figured this would give it a chance to permeate the flavor through the milk.
It definitely worked! I was very pleased with the fragrant vanilla aroma of the mixture. After it boiled and I skimmed out the vanilla pod, I added the rice.
Here's where the controversy comes in, because I know you're thinking that my pudding is, well, more like a rice drink than a pudding. (I even strained it a little bit for the pictures... and when I say strained... I mean drank some of the liquid;) ) I simmered this mixture for 40 minutes, 10 minutes past the printed time, and it was still very thin.
Unfortunately, I didn't read through all of the Problems & Questions posts, so I missed something important: there was a typo in the recipe :( My 40 minutes was not long enough, it should have gone for 55 minutes. Oh well — I'll know for next time!
Anyway, since it was so simple, it still tasted great — the texture was the only thing missing.
Thanks, Isa, for such a yummy and customizable pick :) And don't forget to check out the rest of the TWD bakers this week! I swear I will update my RSS reader this week, I just can't keep up with all of you prolific bakers! ;)