First things first, I have to say I was a little heartbroken last week when Calgary’s Paul McGreevy did not take home the big prize on Chopped Canada. After drying my tears, it was time to get cooking with one of the basket ingredients, so I decided to go with condensed milk.
It’s no secret that condensed milk is sweet, syrupy and intense. The majority of my condensed milk consumption comes from ordering Vietnamese coffees to accompany my many pho lunches in Calgary. You’ll find this milk in lots of desserts like pies, and sauces like dulce de leche. However, years ago, condensed milk came from people’s need of having to transport milk for long periods of time without it spoiling. It was also a ration staple during wartimes as well. The more you know!
Even though it’s now March, our Canadian weather can be much less than favourable. Rice pudding is sweet, classic comfort food at its best. This recipe uses some interesting spices like tonka bean (a fragrant spice with a vanilla-meets-clove-meets-almond sort of flavour) and long pepper for a little bit of heat. Using the condensed milk and a little less sugar made for a beautifully creamy dessert, perfect for the -30 degree temperatures that have been plaguing my city as of late.
The thing with rice is a little bit goes a long way, so even though you’re only using three quarters of a cup of arborio rice in this recipe, you’ll be really surprised with just how much pudding you will end up with.
Fragrant Arborio Rice Pudding
Total cook time:1 hour, 5 minutes (plus 6 hours for chilling)
¾ cup good quality arborio rice (rinsed and soaked)
6 cups homogenized milk
¼ cup cane sugar
¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
2 egg yolks
1 large cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon grated orange zest
? tonka bean, finely grated
¼ long pepper, finely grated
? teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon sea salt
1. Place milk and sugar in a medium pot on medium-high heat and let it come to a simmer.
2. Add in the rice, reduce to medium heat and let cook for 1 hour, stirring every 5 minutes or so with a spatula to make sure the contents on the bottom of the pot are not burning.
3. Whisk together the condensed milk and egg yolks in a small bowl and temper with some of the hot liquid from the pot.
4. Stir egg mixture into the rice, reduce to low heat, add in spices, and let cook for 5 minutes.
5. Place contents of pot into a bowl over an ice bath and stir to help cool. Cover and let chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours so flavours can infuse.
6. Remove the cinnamon stick and portion out for serving. Can be served chilled or warm.