Coconut rice pudding
This classic comfort dish is reinvented with a dash of tropical sweetness.
As winter’s chill persists, we’re caught craving both the toasty indoors and a tropical place to escape to at a moment’s notice. This decadent rice pudding, with its creamy, rich texture and sweet coconut flavour, pays tribute to these warm comforts. Not only is it satisfying enough to serve for dessert and breakfast (sorry, oatmeal!), but one spoonful is also bound to cure those cold weather woes, no matter how blustery the day. Think of it as a refreshing twist on a traditional favourite – one that would make any grandmother proud.
- 2 stalks lemon grass
- ½ vanilla bean
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 1 400-ml can coconut milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 coconut
1 To make the pudding, trim and discard the woody tops and bottoms of the lemon grass. Peel off and throw away the first two outer layers, then crush the inner stalks with the side of a chef's knife to release the oils. Place in a medium saucepan.
2 Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean with the back of a paring knife; add the seeds and bean to the saucepan along with the milk, water, rice, coconut milk, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 40 to 50 minutes until the rice is tender and the mixture has thickened to pudding consistency.
3 Meanwhile, to crack the coconut, rap sharply with a hammer around the middle of the coconut. Break further into smaller pieces. (Strain the coconut water for drinking, if desired.)
4 Carefully pry the coconut meat from the shell using a knife. Run a peeler along the edge of the coconut meat to make long ribbons. Bake the ribbons in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at 400ºF for 5 to 7 minutes, until toasted.
5 Serve the pudding warm or chilled topped with the roasted coconut ribbons.
Serves 6 to 8.