Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cardamom Lemon Rice Pudding

I have a new found love for rice pudding after our first venture into the classic comforting dish.  This time went a lot smoother than the previous experiment.  For the dinner we made for our parents, I really wanted something cool and creamy to finish the pungent, smokey dinner.  I would have loved to make peach ice cream, but we don't own an ice cream machine... yet.  Also, this is a bit more figure-friendly than ice cream because milk fat is not an absolute requirement.  There is a little bit of cream and butter, but the bulk of the dairy is skim milk.  The flavoring came about because I love cardamom and I am always trying to figure out applications where it won't overwhelm or get lost in a dish.  The earthy citrusy notes pair really well with the fresh lemon and nutty almond.  (*The picture is a double batch.)

Cardamom Lemon Rice Pudding
1/2 C regular long grain rice
1/2 C heavy cream
3 1/4 C skim milk
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 C brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
pinch nutmeg (~1/8 tsp)
pinch salt
toasted sliced amonds (optional)

   Add cream, milk, rice, and butter to a 2 qt pot.  Bring to a bubble over med-high.  Reduce to a simmer over med-low.  Cook uncovered for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (About once every 5-8 minutes to prevent sticking.)
   When rice has absorbed most of the liquid and the remaining liquid is thick, remove from heat.  Add the rest of the ingredients except the nuts.  (Hint:  Save the lemon juice as your last addition to prevent a curdled looking pudding.)
   Chill for at least 3 hours.
   Top with toasted almonds for serving.
   Serves 4 large portions.  (6 smaller or "normal" servings.=D)

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