I woke up this morning thinking ‘I made it through another January.’ Sad but true. February 1st is here and we are on the downhill slide towards early spring. I was rewarded with blue sky and snow dusted foothills. It was frigidly cold but I walked among the apple orchards anyway while the sun splattered the sky in pink and yellow. Spring will come again. It always does.
I wanted to make something that matched this lovely winter day; comforting, nourishing, a little surprising.
I’ve been eyeing this rice pudding recipe for weeks. It’s an oldie out of Giada De Laurentiis’s cookbook, Everyday Italian. The recipe also calls for a couple teaspoons dark rum which I think would be delicious but I skipped it because I didn’t happen to have any at the house. I swapped whole milk for 2 percent and it was every bit as delicious and creamy as I was hoping it would be.
Rice Pudding with Vanilla and Orange
- 5 cups milk (2 percent or whole)
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (do you buy yours on amazon?)
- 1.2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
In a saucepan, combine the milk and rice. Scrape in the seeds of the vanilla bean and add the bean. Brink the milk to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Like a risotto, stir frequently (constantly) until the rice is tender and the milk has thickened, about 25 minutes. When the rice begins to thicken but before its done, stir in the sugar. When the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in orange zest. Fish out the vanilla bean and throw it away. Allow the pudding to cool, refrigerate until cold.