It's because... today I got a brand spanking new Canon EOS 550D Camera! A mouthful to say out loud, but hey, who cares, because I have it in my hot little hands right this very minute! I am just so damn obsessed about how much I am obsessed with my new camera!
So, as you can imagine, I was jumping up and down the whole of this morning, and I knew that I had to test my new camera-crush out. And I had also been thinking of creating a rice pudding for quite a while, since I had never made one before.
I actually fell in love with what is deemed to be a "nanna" dish back in New York, the most amazing and not-at-all-nanna-ish city in the world! Down in Soho, there was a shop entirely devoted to this delicious, ricy treat. There was every type of rice pudding you could imagine! Rocky road rice pudding, panna cotta rice pudding, applie pie rice pudding - you name it! So I sort of had a rice-pudding epiphany that day.
And here I am, having made my own scrumptiously simple, yet all round awe-striking version (adapted from a 'Joy the Baker' recipe). Hope you have a rice pudding epiphany like me!
(P.S The little NYC taxi and playing cards are just two of the cutesy little things that I bought in my favourite city and future-home, the Big Apple.)
(P.P.S. Apricots are back in season, yippee! I had a big bag and decided to bake them, Bill Granger style.)
Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding with Baked Apricots
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups short-grain (I used Arborio) rice
A pinch of salt
5 cups whole milk
2/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 whole vanilla pod, if you want to be fancy)
6 fresh apricots
Bring the two cups of water to the boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and, once bubbling violently, pour in the rice and salt. Bring back to the boil, and then reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed by the rice. Make sure you stir the rice occassionally, as it can tend to stick to the bottom!
Once the rice is cooked, place in a large bowl. Rinse the pan that the rice was in.
Cut apricots in half and get rid of the stone. Place in a large baking dish and sprinkle with a little brown sugar. Place in the oven at 170 degrees celsius for 20 minutes.
Add the milk, caster sugar and vanilla bean paste to the clean pan. Bring to a low boil, so the milk doesn't burn. Once the milk is slowly boiling, add the rice and cook down to a creamy pudding-y mixture (about 20 minutes). Stir often, as, yes, the rice has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan!