There's something particularly autumnal about puddings. Surely, it has something to do with cravings for all things rich and creamy as the weather cools.
So we created this deliciously rich and creamy rice pudding just for fall, a time when it can easily show off the finest fruit of the season — apples. Of course, the spices that work so well with apples also are delicious with another of fall's finest, pears.
Most rice puddings are made by slowly simmering starchy white rice in milk, sometimes on the stovetop, sometimes in the oven. But we decided to use a technique more common to risotto. The milk is added more slowly to the rice and cooked into it before more is added. Frequent stirring during this process also helps draw out more of the rice's starch, creating a thicker, creamier pudding.
CARAMELIZED APPLE GINGER RICE PUDDING
Start to finish: 1 hour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup diced candied ginger
4 cups milk, divided
In a medium saucepan over medium-high, melt the butter. Add the apples and cinnamon and saute until browned and caramelized, about 7 minutes.
Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the salt, sugar, ginger and 1 cup of the milk. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until almost all of the milk has been absorbed. Add another cup of milk and repeat with the stirring and cooking until almost entirely absorbed. Repeat with the remaining milk, 1 cup at a time, or until the rice is cooked through and the mixture is creamy.
Serve warm and, if desired, topped with whipped cream or ice cream.
Nutrition information per serving: 330 calories; 70 calories from fat (21 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (4.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 25 mg cholesterol; 60 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 27 g sugar; 9 g protein; 170 mg sodium.