If you’re a rice pudding fan then this is for you! It’s a dessert of which I never tire, and can be topped with a variety of fresh fruits when rhubarb isn’t available, such as mango, passion fruit or raspberries.
2/3 cup Arborio or Vialone Nano rice
1½ cups coconut cream
2½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup red wine
1½ cups water
½ cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
5 stalks slim red rhubarb, sliced 3 cm pieces
½ cup shaved or shredded coconut, toasted
Rhubarb: Place all the ingredients except the rhubarb in a wide sauté pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the rhubarb and simmer very gently for 5 minutes or until the rhubarb is just tender and still holding its shape. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
Return the syrup to the heat and boil until reduced to ½ a cup. Cool. Store the rhubarb and syrup separately.
Rice pudding: Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to very low and cook gently, uncovered for about 40 minutes, stirring often until thick and creamy and the rice is tender. Don’t let it catch on the base of the saucepan. A simmer mat is ideal for gentle cooking.
To serve: Serve the rice pudding hot or warm topped with the rhubarb, syrup and toasted coconut.
Pantry note: Arborio and Vialone Nano are short-grain Italian rice varieties that are high in starch. Available from good supermarkets and specialty food stores.