This post is in honor of one of my best friends, Daniel Jenkins, who loves coconut rice pudding.
He loves to lead us to culinary wonderment and so, in honor of knowing and loving him for thirty-two years, here is my recipe!
I have to come clean about this: Annabelle Coote of Movement Matters asked me for this recipe last March. I guess I got distracted or something. (Sheesh! Sorry Annabelle!)
Annabelle is one of the many amazing women presenting during the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers in March.
Let me know if you give this recipe a run. As my eighteen year old snarfled through the kitchen just now, he asked what I was doing. When he learned that I was offering you this recipe, he confirmed it to be one of the highlights of his culinary upbringing. (Well, that is what I interpreted from the satisfied grunt he made.)
Your next chance for my rice pudding for dessert is this coming March 1, 2013 at Dewey Hall in Sheffield, MA.
A nice big bowl goes to the LLD reader who shows up at this event live and in person!
Leave me a comment here and let me know you will be attending and I will have a special bowl ready for you.
Rice Pudding for Dessert, a la’ the Pokey Little Puppy
Featured at Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others
This recipe is adapted from Richard Sax’ Classic Home Desserts. I love Richard’s book, but I am a stubborn cook, and when I have an idea I work it a few times, damn the torpedos and turned up noses, until I get satisfaction from those round my table. So I took Richard’s recipe and noodled with it until I got this version.
~serves 6 to 8 so go ahead and double it
~time? Well, this is a very stir, wait, stir sort of thing.
2 ½ cups cooked short grain brown rice
2 cups low-fat milk
2 cups coconut milk- please use the full out coconut milk, not the no-fat version
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup raisins or chopped up apricot paste or dried unsweetened cherries
(the apricot paste you can get in Lebanese groceries or places that carry imported foods. It is a big rectangle of apricot paste that my husband remembers eating in strips growing up in Brooklyn. In a pinch, you could just cut up fruit leather.)
½ cup dried coconut, unsweetened plus another ½ cup to toast and sprinkle on before serving
~if you have a vanilla bean on hand, split it down the center and scrape the seeds in to the rice mixture before you put it in the oven.
1. If you don’t have a pot of cooked rice on hand, start the rice in the morning. Here is how I do rice: Water to rice ratio is 2:1. Rinse the rice well before putting it in to a saucepan with the water to boil. Once it is at a rolling boil, let it go for a minute or two, then cover the pot, turn the heat down low. Then, turn it off at about 35 minutes. Just let it sit, covered while you get everything else ready.
2. Combine the cooked rice with the milks and salt in a large, heavy saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Uncover, lower the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until it thickens, about 30 minutes. Stir in the maple syrup and simmer, stirring for about 15 minutes. (You can stop the cooking here if you want to wait and finish it right before you serve it- best that way, but I will eat this stuff at any temperature- so boogie on.)
3. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack in the center. In a small bowl, soak your dried fruit in boiling water or very hot tap water for 10 minutes. Generously butter an 8-inch square Pyrex or oven-proof casserole dish.
4. Drain the fruit and stir it in. Stir in the vanilla seeds if you have them. Stir in the dried coconut here too.
5. Move the rice mixture in to the baking dish and smooth the top. Some crazy lassies dribble heavy cream on the top here, but I don’t. I am not a full fat dairy gal, even though I grew up within earshot of the dairy cows of Wisconsin. If I think about it, I drizzle a little milk on the top to keep it moist, but this has never been a real issue. See what it looks like to you and proceed according to your appetite.
6. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg or the nutmeg you have in your spice cupboard will be fine.
7. Bake until the top is bubbly and browned, 30-40 minutes. While it bakes, toast that last ½ cup of dried coconut to garnish each serving. Dish it up warm or chilled or room temperature.
You must remember I am a home cook, not a fancy doodle food blogger like Janet at A Raisin and A Porpoise, or Alana at Eating from the Ground Up or Gina of the Chili Contest in a Box book. They might do this differently, but when served this dish, they are as happy as can be.
Tons of love to you each,
and especially to you DHJ,