Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Middle Eastern Rice Pudding With Essence of Orange Blossom

This rather easy dessert, with the milk and orange-blossom is the essence of cool. You'll actually feel a degree or two cooler once you've tasted it. On a quest for a standard rice pudding recipe, I found this one and made it a bit less super-sweet, added some salt for complexity and took out the cinnamon so that all you taste is orange blossom.

Here's my version:

1 cup of raw arborio rice
2 cups water
3 cups whole milk
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange-blossom water
1/2 tsp salt

Heat the rice and water in a very large pan to the boiling point then lower the heat and simmer covered until the rice is done and the water is completely absorbed, aprox. 15 minutes. Add the milk and stir to incorporate paying particular attention to scraping all the rice from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook stirring periodically until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. Add the sugar and orange-blossom water. The consistency will become more liquidy as a result, so continue cooking and stirring for another 5-10 minutes until it is thick and creamy once more. Refrigerate for a few hours and serve chilled. Music to chill out with Orange-Blossom Rice Pudding: "Rice Pudding" by Jeff Beck.


Blogger Christina said...

Oh, that sounds so simple and so deliciously good. Great recipe. Thank you for sharing it.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I like that you use arborio rice; I think its chewy texture is so satisfying. Thanks for featuring orange-blossom water in your last two posts. Great idea!

1:02 AM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

you knew that i love rice pudding didn't you? but where the heck do i get orange-blossom water? i'll check at whole foods.

1:23 AM  
Blogger Lotus Reads said...

Susan, thank you, thank you, thank you! My daughter lives on rice pudding...this will make a nice a variation for her! Maybe I can ask hubby to bring me a bottle of orange-blossom water from Dubai?

Love the picture too!

1:28 AM  
Blogger Cecilia said...

Hi susan, I think this is my first comment here, but I have been reading your blog since I moved to Milan 8 months ago. I Love rice pudding, I will definitelly try this recipe! On a totally unrelated question: Where can you find cilantro in Milan? I was finally able to find some black beans, now I NEED cilantro! :)

10:08 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Christina, Thank you!

Hi Susan, I like arborio a lot for this too. Many Indian rice pudding recipes require basmati, which I think is less easy to work with if you want a creamy result.

Hi Melissa, Aside from Whole Foods, try the Halal butcher where you got the merguez and the lamb, that's where I buy mine.

Hi Lotus, Thanks you! I'm impressed that your husband goes to Dubai. It seems like a booming place these days.

Hi Cecilia, Thanks for commenting! You can get cilantro at any open-air market from the guys who sell herbs, lemons and garlic. They put up their mini-stands in the middle of all the shopper traffic. Also, try New Continental Market (my favorite import food store) on Viale Monza near Loreto as well as any store of the Kathay chain (there are at least 3 in Milan). What are you doing here?

2:32 PM  
Blogger JennDZ said...

Yum, sounds as good as I thought it would!

6:30 PM  
Blogger Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Susan!

We have a couple of small businesses in Dubai, that's why he has to return so often. If it didn't interfere with the kids' education I would go him, I miss that place!

12:41 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Jenndz, Thanks!

Hi Lotus, How cool to be a serial world traveller. Dubai is where you learned about foul mesdames, right?

5:42 PM  
Blogger Cecilia said...

Hi Susan, thanks so much for the info, I look forward to cilantro in my food! I husband got transfered here and I tagged along :)

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you for posting this recipe...I made it many times and it turns out perfect every time...just absolutely delicious with a beautiful consistency and flavor!

2:32 AM  

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