Peaches and cream rice pudding is the comfort food you'll crave this season
Rice is such a little black dress in the culinary world.
Oh sure, everyone knows you can eat it with a meal whether you serve it under a stir-fry, as the base for fried rice, as a side dish, or next to grilled or roasted fish, chicken, pork or beef. However, it is so much more than that! It can be chilled in a marinated salad, made into savory pancakes and is equally at home on the dessert table.
While I like rice just about every which way it can be prepared and served, it is at the dessert table that I find it most irresistible. Rice pudding is a pure comfort dessert; a dish that grandmas the world over have made forever and a day. You’d be hard pressed to find me passing up any rice pudding, but I have definite opinions on the best way to prepare and eat it. My modern peaches and cream rice pudding is a just-sweet-enough, velvety, vanilla bean rice pudding topped with a bourbon, brown sugar and butter glazed peach. It’s peaches and cream all grown up. My grandma sure didn’t make it this way, but time marches inexorably forward and this innovation is a tasty one!
Peaches and cream rice pudding recipe
- 2 tablespoons bourbon, divided
- 1 can evaporated milk
- About 3 cups half and half
- 1/2 cup RiceSelect® Arborio Rice
- 1/4 cup raw sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/2 a vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped of its seeds
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 6 canned peach halves (packed in light syrup) drained well
- Add 1 tablespoon of bourbon to a 4-cup measuring cup.
- Add the can of evaporated milk, then enough half and half to fill it to a level 4 cups.
- Stir the liquids together with the rice, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds and salt in a saucepan with at least 2 quarts of capacity.
- Turn the heat to medium high and bring to a boil while stirring constantly.
- Drop the heat to low and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is somewhat thickened, stirring frequently, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pot to prevent scorching. The liquid will continue to thicken as it cools.
- While the pudding sets up and cools, heat the butter over medium heat in a skillet until the butter melts and is foamy.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar into the pan and stir until the sugar dissolves and begins to bubble.
- Raise the heat to medium high and carefully add the remaining tablespoon of bourbon. It will sizzle and steam up immediately!
- Add the peach halves and toss gently to coat. Immediately remove from the heat.
Divide the rice pudding between 6 bowls and top each bowl with a glazed peach.
- Rice pudding needs to be warm for the ultimate in comfort. Cold rice pudding is fine. Warm rice pudding is divine!
- For the best rice pudding, you need the best rice. RiceSelect's Arborio rice is best for risotto for the exact same reasons that it makes the best rice pudding. As it simmers, it releases starches that make the pudding thick and creamy. Instead of simply bloating like many long grain rices, the arborio rice grains swell and become almost silky in texture.
- The rice pudding will continue to thicken quite a bit as it cools from boiling to warm. The real test of whether it’s done isn't in the thickness of the pudding itself, but whether the rice grains are tender. If they’re tender, the pudding is done! Turn off the heat and let it rest while you prepare the glazed peaches. It will thicken to perfection!
- Make certain you have all of your ingredients for the glazed peaches on hand near the pan before you start because the process will move very quickly once you start it. Keep in mind that you have to watch the sugar carefully to prevent it from burning. Don’t expect the butter and brown sugar to come together in a cohesive sauce, just watch for that point where the sugar bubbles a bit. It is at that time that you will carefully add the bourbon to the pan. The steam will shoot up and out of the pan immediately, so please have your little tablespoon of bourbon in a measuring cup instead of pouring it directly from the bottle. And keep your face well away from the pan when you add it, for safety’s sake.It is likely to poof up again when you add the peaches. Just exercise caution when adding them.
This post is part of a sponsored collaboration between RiceSelect® and SheKnows