Rice Puddings with Figs in Vincotto

From issue #4.
Photography by Photography by Vanessa Wu.
Rice Puddings with Figs in Vincotto

Serves: 6 - 8


Rice Pudding
800 mls milk 400 mls cream
250 grams risotto rice e.g. arborio, carnaroli, vialone nano
1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 grams caster sugar
2 tablespoons brandy
20 grams butter

Figs with Vincotto
12-16 small dried figs
50 mls vincotto
50 mls water
Pine Nut Praline
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon water
50 grams pine nuts


Rice Pudding: Place the milk, cream and rice in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla pod, if using, and scrape out the seeds. Add the pod and seeds or the extract to the pot and bring to the boil over a medium heat.
Reduce the heat as low as possible – a simmer mat is useful here. Simmer covered, for 20 minutes or until the rice is done to your liking. Stir well and add the sugar, brandy and butter.

Serve with the figs in vincotto and the pine nut praline.

Figs: Soak the figs for 20 minutes in boiling water. Drain and put into a small saucepan with the vincotto and water. Cook gently over a low heat until the liquid is quite syrupy.

Serve warm on top of the rice pudding. Store the figs for up to a week in the fridge.

Praline: Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat to dissolve the sugar. Add the pine nuts and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly. The oils in the nuts will initially start to crystallise, don’t panic, it will eventually caramelise. Watch carefully, the nuts can burn very fast.

When the caramel is a rich golden colour, pour the mixture onto a teflon baking sheet or greased cookie tray. Cool and gently break up the praline. Just before serving, sprinkle it over the rice pudding.
The praline can be made in advance and kept in an airtight container for a few days. Serves 6-8

Vincotto: an Italian syrup made from grape must, aged in oak to deliver a delicious liquid which has many sweet and savoury applications. Available at specialty food stores or see page 146 to order.

Wine Match: Woollaston Riesling 2003 (Nelson) $15-$25 The sweet citrus blossom and wild honeysuckle aromas of this Nelson varietal combine well with the dominant vanilla, fig and pine nut flavours of the dessert.