Growing up, I’d come home from school to find a tray of little glasses filled with a creamy, sweet mixture, dusted with cinnamon and garnished with raisins, chilling in the fridge. I knew, then, that my Avo, my Portuguese grandmother, was somewhere near by. And I knew how much my father loved her rice pudding. Avo learned everything by tradition: she gardened, plucked chickens, baked bread in a brick oven in her garage, and fed her 15 grandchildren and countless relatives at an endless table on holidays. If I ever have half the skill of my Avo, I’ll be one happy, dusty baker.
That rice pudding looked so delicious. This rice pudding tastes so delicious. And I can eat it. Because it’s dairy-free!
A friend left New York City the other night to move back London, and shared her last meal in the states at my apartment: cheap and delicious Mexican food from up the block. And before that meal, we had this for dessert. She proclaimed it her favorite of any of my creations. I always know I’m onto something when someone makes that statement. I miss you horribly already, Mel. And I don’t care who knows it!!!
This recipe is incredibly easy: gluten and dairy free, it contains only 2 tablespoons of maple syrup as sweetener. It’s delicious warm from the stove, at room temperature or chilled. A vanilla bean really adds incredible flavor to the small list of ingredients, so I highly recommend it instead of using vanilla extract.
Make it for people you love, please!
- 6 tablespoons raisins
- 1 Tbsp cachaca, dark rum, brandy or cognac
- Scant 1/2 cup long grain white or arborio rice
- Scant cup water
- dash of salt
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk (full fat and preferably organic)
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
- 1 egg, beaten well
In a small bowl, soak raisins in alcohol and allow to sit while you prepare the pudding.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, toast rice until it becomes fragrant, about 4 minutes.
Add water and salt, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until absorbed, about 12 minutes.
Add 3/4 can of coconut milk, maple syrup and scraped vanilla bean and cook until almost fully absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Beat remaining coconut milk with the egg. Pour over pudding. Stir in raisins and alcohol.
Spoon into four glasses. Serve warm, bring to room temperature or chill completely.