Vanilla rice pudding with marsala-baked pears recipe

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  • Yield: 8 hearty portions

Ingredients

Rice Pudding
  • 1 cup (197 g) Arborio or other fancy short-grain rice
  • One 14-ounce (396 g) can sweetened condensed milk
  • One 14-ounce (396 g) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1¼ cups (296 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Butter for greasing the dish
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
Marsala-Baked Pears
  • ⅓ cup (79 ml) Marsala wine
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2-inch piece orange peel
  • 2-inch piece lemon peel
  • 2 ripe but firm pears, quartered, seeded, and stemmed
How to Make It
    Make the Pudding
  1. Position one rack in the center of your oven and the other in the top third. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the rice in a fine-mesh colander and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Set aside.
  3. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the condensed milk, heavy cream, and 2 cups (472 ml) water. Add the vanilla and the cinnamon stick to the saucepan. Add the rice and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the rice for 7 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  4. Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Transfer the rice mixture to the dish and cover with a lid or tinfoil. Bake the pudding on the center rack of your oven until the rice is tender, about 25 minutes.
  5. Increase the temperature to 375°F, remove the cover from the dish, and sprinkle the surface of the pudding with the sugar. Return the pudding to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes more, until the top of the pudding is golden brown. Remove the pudding from the oven and cool it to very warm room temperature before you serve it. After raising the temperature of the oven, the pears can be baked concurrently with the rice pudding.
  6. Make the Pears
  7. Combine the Marsala wine, sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange peel, lemon peel, and ¼ cup (59 ml) water in a small saucepan and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Place the pears in a heatproof baking dish and pour the Marsala wine mixture over the fruit.
  8. Bake the pears on the top rack of the oven, above the pudding, after raising the temperature to 375°F. After 15 minutes, carefully turn the pear quarters over and then return them to the oven. Continue to bake until the juices and wine have reduced to a thin syrup and the pears have begun to caramelize, about 20 minutes longer. Remove the fruit from the oven, remove and discard the cinnamon stick and citrus peels, and spoon some of the juices over the pears.
  9. Serve the pudding warm with a wedge of pear and a drizzle of the pear-Marsala juices. The pudding and the pears keep well in the fridge for 1 week. You can prepare both in advance and reheat them, covered with a lid or tinfoil, in a 325°F oven until warm.
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