These are the most sensational rice puddings ever. Lush with tangy dried apricots and sultanas, you’ll fall in love with this pudding the minute your spoon digs into the rich creamy rice and vanilla and cinnamon scents waft up to you.
1 cup (175g / 6 oz) dried apricots 1 tsp butter 3 Tbsp vanilla sugar (see Recipe Notes below) 6 Tbsp medium grain rice (I use Australian medium grain Calrose rice) Scant ¼ tsp ground cinnamon 4 Tbsp golden sultanas 900ml milk (see conversions below) Runny cream to serve
1 Soak apricots in very hot water to cover for 1 hour, or until tender. Drain and chop.
2 Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F). Rub four deep and wide ramekins thickly with butter and with 2 tablespoons of the vanilla sugar. Divide rice, ground cinnamon, raisins, apricots and remaining sugar among the dishes. Transfer to a shallow ovenproof dish to make it easier to move them in and out of the oven., and to catch any spillages. Pour on milk and place in the oven.
3 Cook for 1-1¼ hours, or until the rice is soft and creamy and the surface nicely browned; there should still be a little visible liquid. Remove from oven. Rest puddings for 30 minutes, and serve warm with runny cream.
You can easily make vanilla-scented sugar by tucking a split vanilla pod inside a jar of caster (superfine granulated) sugar. Alternatively, use vanilla paste – stir ½ a teaspoon of paste into the milk – or use vanilla extract.
In the US use 30 fl oz of milk, or 1.9 pints, and in the UK use 31 fl oz or 1.5 pints.
If you don’t have wide and deep ramekins as pictured, make the pudding in a 6-7 cup china ovenproof casserole.