Ever since my first taste of the impossibly creamy, perfectly sweet rice pudding that they make at The Little Nest on Commercial Drive (one of my favourite breakfast, coffee and cake spots in town), my very serious sweet tooth longs for it on a very regular basis.
And as much as I could happily visit this lovely, little corner cafÃ© for their lattes and sweet treats everyday, my wallet would probably jump out of my bag and bitch slap me. So I decided to be active and honest about my rice pudding addiction,Â and try making it from scratch.
Recipe serves 4
- 1/2 cup Arborio rice (don’t you dare try and substitute any other kind, it just won’t do)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
Stewed Peach Ingredients
- 4 cups peaches or nectarines, sliced (I know they’re not the same thing but really, they pretty much are and we all know it, so use either one)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- A couple dashes of cinnamon
- A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or save a little from your vanilla bean and toss it in here)
- 1 tablespoon brandy or red wine (I happen to have some apricot brandy leftover from a batch of sangria I made last summer so that worked perfectly, but if you weren’t born in the 1930′s, I understand if you don’t have fruit liqueurs on hand)
I just don’t understand why you would ever choose milk over cream, especially when desserts are involved. You’re already making the choice to treat yourself, so don’t sell yourself short.
Start by putting your cream in a pot over low-medium heat. Don’t let it burn or even boil, but as it starts to heat up, add your rice.
Stir it around for a few minutes and then add your sugar. You never want this to be bubbling too hard, so keep it on a nice, low heat the whole time.
Slice your vanilla bean down the centre without cutting all the way through and scrape out all that seedy goodness into your pot.
Make sure you get every last bit, and then toss the whole bean into the pot. You likely paid a pretty penny for that one, beautiful bean, so get your money’s worth.
You’ll continue to slowly add the milk in small batches over the next 40 minutes or so. Keep the temperature low – I can’t stress this enough.
You want to see very small bubbles just barely blipping away (yes that’s a word I didn’t even get a squiggly spellcheck line under it!)
When your rice has about 10-15 minutes left to go, get your peaches stewing.
Stirring often, let this start to lightly simmer away. When it starts getting thicker, add a splash of water to get a nice reduction going.
If your rice pudding isn’t finished yet, just keep your peaches on a low heat. They will just keep getting sweeter and prettier.
Once you’ve added the last of your milk and your rice pudding is thick and creamy, have a taste and make sure your rice is cooked through. It should be nice and chewy. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool down for 5-10 minutes. Same with the peaches.
It can be served warm, but you don’t want it piping hot. It’s also delicious right out of the fridge. Or room temperature.
Or absolutely any temperature at all it doesn’t even matter it’s just so, so good.
So I highly recommend you pop by Little Nest and try it for yourself.
You should also try their Egg Of The Day, or just grab a coffee and one of Mary’s freshly baked goodies.