Many years ago a well-meaning neighbour fed me English-style rice pudding as a small child fresh out of Japan and it traumatised me immeasurably. I’d only known rice to be a comforting, nourishing staple so being given a serve of mushy, sweet, milky lumps was just an assault on my young, unsuspecting senses. I’m sure my neighbour thought I’d be up for anything rice based. Bless.
Needless to say, I gave rice pudding a wide berth which wasn’t hard given it largely went out of culinary favour at some point after the 80s. My next encounter with dessert rice was much more positive; a serve of Sri Lankan milk rice at an international food festival held at my student dorm while living in Japan (later as a young adult). It was simple but absolutely delicious. A lovely blend of coconut milk, sugar and spices. Since then I’ve also enjoyed the rice based desserts of Thailand, but Western style rice pudding?
The other week on Masterchef, George Calombaris took the contestants through a masterclass in rice pudding making which actually inspired me to try it myself. After all, I did have the almighty Thermomix to make light my work. However, I was keen to take a step away from the rice pudding of my childhood nightmare so I chose to use goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk. For those who haven’t tried goat’s milk, it’s surprisingly… ungoaty. You can certainly catch that lovely fresh goat’s cheese tang but it’s nowhere near as strong and you can’t really smell it. It does have a nice character to it and I was convinced it’d do wonders for a rice pudding.
I made up a very quick fruit compote (stewed fruit if you’re a straight talking type) in the Thermomix by dicing up a peeled and quartered pear and apple for 5 seconds on speed 4. I added some sugar (no more than 50g), a squeeze of lemon juice, some cinnamon and allspice and a tablespoon of water. I then cooked the lot on 90C, Reverse & Soft for about 10 minutes.
The rice pudding was pretty much made as per the recipe in the main TMX cookbook except I used goat’s milk.. I’m sure you can also follow the Masterchef recipe to get the same result (though minus the tarragon etc. perhaps). I added a lot less sugar than given in that recipe though and I used Demerara sugar instead of caster. Any sort of risotto rice is fine although I’m sure a medium grain rice would also cope with the cooking process.
I wasted no time having a serve of the rice pudding with some of the compote and I am pleased to report that I am no longer traumatised. The goat’s milk gave the pudding an extra kick without taking over entirely. The ever so slight cheesiness of the pudding went rather well with the fruit.
Looking forward to expanding on this dessert.