Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Vanilla Bean Basmati Rice Pudding

This Vanilla Bean Basmati Rice Pudding is creamy, sweet, and oh so delicious! Serve it warm or serve it cold... either way, you'll find yourself going back for another bowlful.

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You guys, yesterday was HARD.

The sweet girl who made my Mother's Day so wonderful (with the help of her dad, of course) disappeared. In her place was a toddling terror I didn't recognize. It was almost as if she were giving us a sneak preview of what she might be like during the Terrible Twos.

Keeping up with her tiring. And frustrating. And I hit a wall by the time I put her down for her nap. I was hoping that a little rest would help her, but the afternoon was just as difficult as the morning.

It was so tempting to call it a day and go to bed after she was down for the night. But I needed to do something for myself... something to recover. I decided to unwind by writing so I could share another story with you.

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Remember when I told you I'd be sharing a recipe for a dessert I never thought I'd like? Well, my dear friends... the time is now!

When I was younger, I shied away from rice pudding because I didn't like the texture of it. I spent the majority of my adult life ignoring it on dessert menus because I was positive that I still didn't like it. But after one kind gesture, my opinion was forever changed.

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I was picking up a take-out order from one of our favorite restaurants. While I was paying for our food, one of the co-owners started telling me about their rice pudding. Without telling him why, I confessed that I had never tried it before. And without skipping a beat, Matt put a container of it in my bag with the rest of the food.

I had intended to give the rice pudding to Stephen because it's more up his alley. Out of gratefulness, though, I tried a little spoonful. And then a big spoonful. And then, before I knew it, I had eaten every last bite without sharing any of it with my husband.

Oops.

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To make up for it, I started experimenting with rice pudding recipes so we could have it for dessert at home. Because we had a bag of basmati rice in our pantry, I focused on recipes that called for that particular type of rice.

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This recipe wound up being perfect. Not only could I use the basmati rice, but I could also use some of the vanilla beans I had on hand after making ice cream. I had only ever used basmati rice as an accompaniment for savory dishes, so the idea of using it to create something sweet made me super happy.

As it was cooking, the intoxicating aroma of vanilla filled the house. It pulled me in and compelled me to steal a few spoonfuls of rice pudding out of the pot before it had finished cooking. And, because we couldn't wait to eat it once it was ready, I served it warm.

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Creamy. Sweet. And oh so delicious!

Now, I admit it. My rice pudding isn't as good as the stuff at Mitzi's Table. Something's missing from my version that I can't quite put my finger on. Even so, I think my version is pretty darn tasty... and great served warm or cold.

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When we can't get over to the restaurant for rice pudding, it's nice to know I can make a batch at home that comes pretty close.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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Also, did any of you out there have kids who skipped straight to the Terrible Twos phase after turning one? How did you handle it?!?

Vanilla Bean Basmati Rice Pudding
Serves: 6-8 | Printable Recipe

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup basmati rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large heavy pan, bring the water, rice, and salt to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cover.
  2. Simmer until the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the milk, cream, and sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean with a paring knife and add the seeds and bean to the pan.
  4. Increase the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until the rice is tender and the mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. You want the rice to have a soft and creamy consistency.
  5. Remove the pudding from the heat and discard the vanilla bean. Serve warm with a sprinkling of cinnamon if desired or press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding and chill thoroughly. The pudding can be made two days in advance, just keep it refrigerated.
Recipe by Michelle Rittler, Taste As You Go // adapted from Bon App├ętit

Disclosure: The Real Co. provided me with a sample bag of their white basmati rice to try at no cost to me. I did not accept monetary compensation for this post; however, this post does contain affiliate product links. Clicking on the links may result in my being paid a commission based on product sales. Regardless of commission, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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