As the weather gets cooler, a warm, creamy dessert is a great way to help chase away the chill. Rice pudding is the perfect choice for dessert, breakfast or just about any time you need comforted.
So can you use regular long-grain rice to make rice pudding? While there is certainly no rule that says you can’t, short grain rice, like Arborio, will yield a creamy consistency that long-grain can’t match. Usually used in classic Italian risotto, using it in a dessert elevates the rice to a whole new, luscious level.
The combination of cranberry and orange is popular this time of year and one that’s probably most often found in quick breads. However, those same flavors are delicious in a myriad of different desserts, including this one.
Find Arborio rice at Reasor’s and other local grocery stores.
Cranberry Orange Rice Pudding
Makes 4 servings
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 3 cups half and half
- 1 whole vanilla bean, split
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/3 cup maple syrup. More if desired
- Sweetened whipped cream (optional)
In a large saucepan, combine water, butter and salt to a boil; add rice. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed and rice is al dente.
In the meantime, add the half and half, vanilla bean, cinnamon, cranberries, orange zest and maple syrup in a separate saucepan. Add the cooked rice. Cover and cook over low, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until the half and half is almost absorbed and the rice is creamy.
Serve warm or cold. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.