Limoncello Rice Pudding

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The cool thing about winter is where ever you live your winter is winter. I heard an hilarious anecdote the other day about a rancher in Cairns that was huddled in front of the fire at 23 degrees - his version of winter clearly higher up the thermometer. Mid winter calls for a level of delicious stodge that warms the body and the heart. It also calls for switch hitting dishes that can be a dessert or a delicious breakfast or a mid day snack when your cockles are shivering. Rice pudding is that hero dish, and even more so as this version is gluten and dairy free, so everyone can hook in.

I was at my very very very favorite restaurant in Melbourne recently Smith and Daughters, who have recently done a pop up in their own brand and become an Italian joint for the winter. They had a limoncello rice pudding on their dessert menu, but due to the excessive amount of treats I had consumed, I was too full to partake. I did however have a bottle of homemade limoncello at home, and the pantry ingredients to make it, and it was delicious AF, if I do say so myself. I believe this needs no garnish or accompaniment, just you, a spoon and a bowl.

Ingredients

150g (3/4 cup) aborio rice (risotto rice)

1.25 litres Bonsoy (or other non dairy milks) 

1 can coconut condensed milk

1 vanilla bean, split in half or quality extract

1 pinch salt

Zest of 1 large lemon

2T limoncello (or a giant slug of it to taste! If you don't have limoncello use a drop of Doterra lemon oil or zest of another lemon)

Let's DO This

1. Put all the ingredients in a medium-large saucepan over a low heat, scraping out the vanilla seeds into the pot and putting in the bean as well if you are going whole bean.

2. Stir to combine the condensed milk with the soy and bring to a simmer. Stir every now and again to stop a skin forming and stop the rice from sticking, this is a labor of love, so throw down some mantra while you stand there and think about all the hands that have contributed to getting these ingredients into your pot.

3. As the rice thickens stir constantly until the pudding looks like a soupy risotto - this will take about 40 dedicated minutes, top up with extra milk if it is getting to dry. If you are short of time or patience, put it into a baking dish, cover with foil and finish in the oven on 180 degrees for 60 mins. If you like a super slops texture, do this step anyway.

4. Let it rest so the rice can swell and absorb all the flavors, serve hot, warm or cold - its delicious any way you can get it in your puddin hole. You could garnish with some poached quinces or preserved summer fruits, but its perfect with a grating of fresh nutmeg or totally nude. Serves 4-5 people or one :-)

Polly McGee