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Author Notes: This is my basic recipe for rice pudding, brûléed to make it "homey-fancy". Doll it up with coconut, fruit, spices, whatever you like. I love to add tea and chai spices or skip the brûlée and top it with poached plums or pears. Here, I keep it simple with some vanilla, cinnamon and dried cranberries. —Michelle Barry
cup Japanese sticky rice (or other short-grained rice)
cups whole milk
teaspoon kosher salt
cup loosely packed dark brown sugar
cup dried cranberries
teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
Turbinado sugar, for serving
- Melt one tablespoon of butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan, add rice and cook over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes until all grains are coated in butter.
- Add milk, cinnamon sticks and salt and turn heat up until milk-rice mixture begins to boil.
- Once the mixture is boiling, turn heat down and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure milk doesn’t scald, until rice is cooked through
- Whisk sugar and eggs together in a bowl or large measuring cup.
- Ladle ¼ to ½ cup boiling rice mixture into the eggs and sugar, stirring continuously. Whisk egg-sugar mixture into rice mixture and simmer until it thickens slightly. Keep your burner on the lowest setting at this point so that the pudding does not curdle.
- Once pudding has thickened, remove from heat.
- Remove cinnamon sticks and stir in vanilla and dried cranberries. Transfer to a serving dish. Allow to cool slightly, then cover with wax or parchment paper to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, remove parchment or wax paper and cover top of pudding with a thin sprinkling of turbinado sugar. Melt the sugar with a blow torch or place the dish under the broiler until the sugar is melted and serve.