Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rice Pudding with Pomegranate Syrup

Pomegranates are in season, and if ever there was a food deserving of the adjective "seductive," it's this heavy, globe-shaped fruit.  Not only do the seeds of the fruit play a role in the Greek myth of Persephone, but there has to be a thrilling side to a food that lent its name to a weapon (from the French word for pomegranate, grenade).  Here, a deep-red pomegranate sauce lends a special touch to otherwise ordinary rice pudding.

Ingredients:
For the pudding:
  • 3 and 1/2 cups plain non-dairy milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup vegan sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 Ener-G egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the syrup:
  • 2 large pomegranates
  • 1/4 cup vegan sugar
  • 6 tablespoons pomegranate seeds*
1. To prepare the pudding, combine 3 cups of the milk in a saucepan with the rice, 1/3 cup sugar, and butter.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


2. Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup milk and the Ener-G egg in a large bowl.  Gradually add one-fourth of the rice mixture to the Ener-G mixture.  Return the whole mixture back to the saucepan and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes - the rice should be tender and the pudding thick by the end. You only need to stir occasionally, but be careful not to let a skin form.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: cut the pomegranates in half, and squeeze out the juice.  The two pomegranates should yield 1 cup juice.  I relied on my good old-fashioned citrus reamer, although if you have one of those fancy modern juicers, you'll probably get your 1 cup of liquid much faster, so by all means put it to work.


4. Combine the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until reduced to 1/3 cup, stirring frequently.

Place 1/2 cup pudding in each of 6 dessert bowls; drizzle each serving with about 1 tablespoon syrup and sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds. 

You can serve the rice pudding warm from the stovetop or make in advance and serve chilled. A note of caution if serving chilled, however; I recommend plating mere moments before serving, otherwise the pomegranate syrup mixes with the bright white rice mixture and turns it a muddy purplish-brown. This recipe does, therefore, lose some points for presentation; I had to work fast to get a few good photos.


*Don't forget to buy an extra pomegranate to use for the seeds sprinkled on top.  You'll have completely crushed the seeds in the other 2 pomegranates to extract their juice.  Another option is to buy a small container of pre-seeded pomegranate seeds, usually available in the produce section with other cut-up fruit.


Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1/2 cup pudding, 1 tablespoon syrup, 1 tablespoon seeds), Calories 296 

Tasting Notes:
A great, creamy rice pudding with wonderful hints of vanilla.  I loved the pomegranate sauce, which tasted midway between a fruity maple syrup and a thick cranberry juice cocktail.   My least favorite part of this dessert was actually the pomegranate sprinkled on top; I didn't like the sharp crunch of the seeds in contrast to the creamy rice pudding, so next time I would stick with just the sauce. 

Rating:
4

No comments:

Post a Comment