I have been craving rice pudding recently. It's the onset of autumn that has done it, I think. I love all dairy products, and I need to smell the vanilla aroma wafting up from the warm, creamy rice. Fortunately I had some vanilla and cardamom pods in the spice drawer and a recipe calling to me from the Leon cookbook.
Cardamom Rice Pudding
from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes
1 T butter
150 g (2/3 c) risotto, paella, or pudding rice
350 ml (1 1/2 c) full-fat milk
400 ml (1 2/3 c) double (heavy) cream
1/2 vanilla pod
3 cardamom pods
2 1/2 T fructose (fruit sugar)
In a heavy pan on the smallest ring, melt the butter, then stir in the rice. Pour in the milk and cream and stir well.
Scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod and add the seed and the pod to the rice.
Do the same with the cardamom pods, but just add the seeds to the rice and throw away the husks.
Cook slowly, uncovered, stirring at the beginning to prevent the mixture sticking. The dairy will make a steady dome of foam above the rice. Let it cook for 30 minutes.
Turn the heat down to the minimum for the final 20 to 25 minutes.
When cooked, put the lid on and leave it to sit for a few minutes. Stir in the fructose. Eat straight away or eat cold.
I have to admit that my minimum heat on the smallest ring kept the milk and rice boiling. I stirred it constantly for the first ten minutes or so, but there was no way to cool it enough, so I just turned the heat off and put the lid on. About twenty minutes earlier I had finished using the oven for something else, so I popped the covered saucepan into the still warm oven, hoping that the rice would cook enough. This seemed to work, but the pudding was much drier than we like it. But I still managed to get the lovely, creamy vanilla aroma I have so been craving.