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Saffron Rice Pudding, Slow Roasted Plums

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Rice pudding has warm and fuzzy connotations for me. Whenever my Mum baked a roast dinner she would put a simple English style baked rice pudding in the bottom of the oven tucked well under the meat tray to avoid splatter. It was always a super sweet dessert, spiced with a hint of nutmeg, the texture soft, thick and gluey, but as a kid, I loved it. If there was a spoonful of tart stewed fruit on the side, I was in seventh heaven.

Since making Claudia Roden’s Rose Scented Rice Pudding last year, I have abandoned cooking rice pudding in the oven. The brown crust that develops as the pudding bakes in the oven masks close scrutiny resulting in overcooked rice. It’s much easier to monitor and control the rice slowly absorbing the milk over a low heat on the stove top.

My expectations of rice pudding have changed. Each grain of rice must keep it’s identity, be slightly al dente and suspended in a sweetly spiced cream. I prefer rice pudding chilled now, it helps reduce the sweetness but I still love tart fruit as an accompaniment.

Blood plum season inspired me to try Greg Malouf’s decadent Saffron Rice Pudding recipe from his book “New Feast.” Blood plums, roasted to intensify their tart flavour balanced the creamy sweetness of the rice perfectly, as would rhubarb, apricots and unsweetened apples.

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Slow Roasted Blood Plums

6 large blood plums

1/2 cup raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 150C fan forced.

Place a wire rack in an ovenproof tray and cover with a sheet of baking paper.

Cut the plums into quarters ad discard the pips.

Place the sugar in a small bowl then toss the plums in the sugar so the cut surfaces are coated.

Arrange the plum quarters skin side down on the prepared baking tray.

Bake the plums for 1 hour.

Remove and cool.

Malouf’s Saffron Rice Pudding 

12 saffron stamen

800 mls of milk

90g castor sugar

finely grated zest of 1 small orange

1 small cinnamon stick

1/2 vanilla pod, split and scraped

100g short grained rice

1 egg yolk

150mls double cream

Soak the saffron stamens in 1 tablespoon of boiling water for 1/2 hour.

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, milk, zest, cinnamon, vanilla pod and seeds and saffron water.

Slowly bring the milk to the boil, stirring constantly until the sugar has melted. Add the rice and stir until the milk returns to the boil.

Reduce the heat, put a simmer pad under the pot and cook very gently until the rice has absorbed the milk, about 1 hour.

Stir from time to time, more frequently once the pudding begins to thicken.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes then fish out the pieces of cinnamon stick and vanilla bean.

Whisk the egg yolk with a couple of tablespoons of the cream then whisk it into the rice.

Chill the rice until completely cold, then whisk the remaining cream into stiff peaks and fold it into the cold rice. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

To serve, divide the rice pudding between 8 serving glasses. Arrange 3 segments of roasted plum on top, then enjoy

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

27 comments on “Saffron Rice Pudding, Slow Roasted Plums

  1. Pingback: My Top Ten Recipes for 2015 | Please Pass the Recipe

  2. sue marquis bishop
    March 2, 2015

    Such memories I have of mom’s rice pudding. I love it cold and warm. Your version with plums looks so good. Sue
    Womenlivinglifeafter50.com

    Like

  3. ChgoJohn
    March 2, 2015

    You’ve found my weakness. For one that never tasted rice pudding until well into my adult years, I sure do love it. Yours here, made on the stove top — like it should be — and topped with those roasted plums sounds too good to be true.That opening shot of yours will stay with me for some time.

    Like

  4. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward
    February 28, 2015

    Gorgeous recipes!

    Like

  5. Margot @ Gather and Graze
    February 28, 2015

    My Mum never made rice pudding when we were growing up… perhaps she never enjoyed the rice pudding made by her mother and decided not to inflict it on us. I’ll have to ask her why… Sandra, your post has made me envious though of not growing up with this dish as a regular comforting dessert, particularly with the addition of things like saffron or rosewater and roasted plums on top – I will definitely be trying this out for my own family to hopefully begin a new tradition! 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 28, 2015

      This rice pud bears no resemblence to what my Mum made, but it’s worth making over and over again!

      Like

  6. milkandbun
    February 28, 2015

    I love both rice pudding and plums. Sometimes I saute plums on the hob and then add it to various breakfast cereals or desserts. The only question- why did you use tray+rack+paper? I usually lay plums or other fruits straight on a tray and roast them.
    Have a great holiday! 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 28, 2015

      The sugar will caramelize pretty quickly in the oven? The papers slows down the sugar in contact with the tray and make clean up easier too. Putting the plums on a rack allows the heat to circulate around the plums for even roasting, and also it too slows caramelization

      Liked by 1 person

      • milkandbun
        February 28, 2015

        Ok, I see. Thank you so much for the answer! I learned something new! 🙂

        Like

  7. Fae's Twist & Tango
    February 28, 2015

    Say no more, the name of this dessert alone gets every Persian’s attention. 🙂 To say further, I can have this for breakfast, lunch and dinner too. 😀 )))

    Like

  8. Michelle
    February 27, 2015

    Oh, I love that grownup version of a nursery dessert!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 28, 2015

      Yes, far more sophisticated than what I had come to expect from rice pudding!

      Like

  9. MamaD1xx4xy
    February 27, 2015

    This looks so scrumptious. I have only made rice pudding on the stove, not baked. The plums look so delicious on top, yum!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 27, 2015

      Stodgy baked rice pudding is very English, but now I know a better way!

      Like

  10. cathyandchucky
    February 26, 2015

    Yummmmmmmm! I am currently eating a Spanish rice pudding with a spoonful of Lyles delicious golden syrup on top 😍. Such a satisfying partnership.

    Like

  11. cheergerm
    February 26, 2015

    What, you aren’t bringing me a bowl of this right now? The Yak would die of pure delight eating this.

    Like

  12. Francesca
    February 26, 2015

    I’m reading this at 5.30 pm as my mind wanders toward this evening’s food offerings, but first, let me grab a wine. I would love this for dessert and now must consider the supplies on hand. I would also like that parsnip skordalia from the other day and anything else you might cook this week. Such lovely offerings- I can taste it, my food imagination is my best friend.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      February 26, 2015

      Sorry Francesca, you’ll have to go hungry. Those posts were pre scheduled, I’m on holidays….

      Like

      • Francesca
        February 28, 2015

        I’m expecting lots of lovely things from the land of the Kiwi.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Leah
    February 26, 2015

    Oh wow!!! Sounds divine!

    Like

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This entry was posted on February 26, 2015 by in Desserts, Food, Fruit Desserts, Gluten Free, Light dessert, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , .
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