Orange rind, cinnamon, vanilla and orange blossom water give this creamy rice pudding an exotic perfume and flavour. Keep the heat low to ensure the pudding stays creamy.
250g (1¼ cups/8-9 ounces) medium grain rice like Calasparra
Small piece of cinnamon stick
Small piece of vanilla pod, split
3 strips orange rind
1 litre (US just over 2 pints/UK 1¾ pints) milk
1 Tbsp orange blossom water
6 Tbsp caster sugar
75ml (5 Tbsp) cream
Passionfruit pulp, sliced mango tossed with lemon juice or sliced strawberries tossed with a few drops of balsamic vinegar
1 Put the rice in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil, stirring often. Drain.
2 Return rice to a clean pan and add the cinnamon stick, vanilla pod, orange rind and milk.
Bring to a gentle boil, stirring often especially when it is near boiling point. Immediately turn the heat down to low and simmer very gently for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender, stirring often; the pudding should be wonderfully creamy.
3 Remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod and blend in the orange blossom water, sugar and cream. Spoon into bowls and serve warm garnished with fruit.
Calasparra rice from Spain – the type you use for paella – makes a beautiful rich and creamy pudding (it’s available online from Sabato https://sabato.co.nz , or you can use Australian medium grain rice.