From Nanna’s Old Fashioned Kitchen. Lemon Scented Rice Pudding With Balsamic Basil Strawberries

Nana's Lemon Scented Rice Pudding

Anyone who follows my Instagram feed will realise that recently I embarked on the 100 day haiku challenge. Seventeen syllables of poetic creativity a day, structured into three lines; the first containing just five syllables, the second seven, and third five like the first. All food centric by my choosing.

It’s an addictively consuming and sometimes frustrating process. How to capture the essence of something in just a few short words. I’m getting back to basics and learning a lot about simplicity, clarity and economy of thought. Probably the last time I encountered a haiku was way back in primary school, set no doubt as a homework task for my ten or eleven year old self.

Surprisingly, I’m finding haiku writing to also be a rather nostalgic process. I’m delving into the half forgotten recesses of my mind and reminiscing about all manner of miscellaneous, sometimes peculiar things. Like old fashioned rice pudding. Straight out of any nanna’s old fashioned frugal kitchen. Well made it was lovely and comforting; gorgeously luscious and creamy.

Truth be told I honestly can’t remember the last time I made a rice pudding. If I believe my teenagers – never in their collective lifetime. And so it was that this past week I took a trip down memory lane and recreated Nanna’s rice pudding. My rather decadent modern version is lemon scented and uses arborio rice with copious, not so frugal, amounts of butter, eggs, milk and cream. All topped off with a balsamic, basil infused strawberry salad. A “dessert” that is equally delicious warm or cold and easily crosses over for breakfast or brunch.

Lemon Scented Rice Pudding With Balsamic Basil Strawberries
Serves 4

1 cup Arborio rice
25g unsalted butter
finely grated zest of one lemon
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups cream
½ cup caster sugar

½ cup milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon caster sugar
freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon

Balsamic Basil Strawberries
1 punnet strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil leaves
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon

PREHEAT oven to 150 C.
MELT butter in a medium ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until well coated and lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
ADD lemon zest and sauté until fragrant for 1 to 2 minutes, before adding milk, cream and sugar. Stir well to combine.
COOK rice gently over a low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and place in preheated oven to bake for 10 minutes as you prepare the custard.
WARM milk in a small saucepan. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, lemon and caster sugar until pale and light. In a slow steady stream, pour the warmed milk into the egg mixture, whisking well to combine.
REMOVE rice from oven, uncover and add the custard mixture, stirring well to combine. Replace lid and return to the oven to bake for a further 20 or so minutes until thick and creamy, yet still a little loose. The custard will continue to thicken as it cools.
COMBINE strawberries, basil, caster sugar, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Set aside to macerate for 5 minutes or so.
SPOON warm or cold rice pudding into small bowls or glasses. Spoon over balsamic basil strawberries and their juices. Serve immediately.

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2 Responses to From Nanna’s Old Fashioned Kitchen. Lemon Scented Rice Pudding With Balsamic Basil Strawberries

  1. chef mimi says:

    This looks lovely! You always have such interesting recipes!

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