Despite the fact that rice pudding didn’t excite me, I decided to go all out and try my best to make a Rice Pudding I would be proud to show off, share and dine on!
I decided to make a Rice Pudding with Caramel Gala Apples. I chose this pudding because I felt the slight spiciness of Gala apples and the decadence of homemade caramel sauce would pair nicely with a creamy and not-too-sweet vanilla rice pudding. I spent a lot of time pondering whether I should make it with Gala apples or Fuji apples but decided to go with the simpler Gala apple.
There were a lot of ingredients (22!) listed in the recipe, but of course, I already had the Arborio rice in my well-stocked pantry. I did have to go to four different stores to find the Gala apples that offered just the right firmness. Finally, I found them about 20 miles from home, but they were worth the drive.
Back home again, I carefully read all the directions four times and then laid all the ingredients out on my counter in the order I planned to use them. The recipe called for four different sized mixing bowls, which I carefully put in each section of the kitchen where the ingredients were that would be transferred into them. I like to save myself unnecessary steps in the kitchen.
First, I followed these directions exactly, carefully measuring the ingredients every step of the way.
Bring 3 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to boil in heavy large saucepan. Add rice and boil 10 minutes. Drain rice; discard cooking water. Rinse saucepan. Combine milk and sugar in same saucepan; bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add rice; reduce heat to medium and simmer until rice is very tender, most of milk is absorbed, and pudding is thickened but still creamy and reduced to scant 3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract. Transfer rice pudding to medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface of pudding; let pudding cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold
While the pudding was cooling, I immediately went to work on the Carmel Apples.
Peel apples; quarter through stem end and remove core. Cut each apple quarter into 4 slices, then cut slices crosswise into thirds. Combine sugar and lemon juice in medium nonstick skillet. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and syrup is medium amber color, occasionally swirling skillet, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; add butter to skillet and swirl until melted (mixture may bubble vigorously). Return skillet to medium heat; add cider and pinch of salt and bring to boil. Add apples and simmer until tender, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Add 1/2 cup whipping cream and boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer apples with caramel sauce to heatproof bowl. Cool caramel apples until lukewarm or room temperature.
Once I had tested both the pudding and the Carmel Apples for the appropriate temperature using my handy cooking thermometer — I just could not survive without my handy cooking thermometer — and determined that the mixtures were the appropriate temperature, I prepared the pudding to be served.
I divided half the caramel apples among six martini glasses and filled each with rice pudding, dividing equally. Then I topped them with the remaining caramel apple and garnished each with a dollop of whipped cream.
Making this Rice Pudding with Caramel Gala Apples was worth every bit of the full day’s effort I put into it! I wish I had lots of pictures to share, but I was just so busy measuring ingredients that I didn’t have time to take any pictures. However, my pudding looked exactly like this one.
Except it was served in a martini glasses and had a more generous dollop of whipped cream on top! Sooo good!
Our Odd friend Nancy Leahy made Coconut Rice Pudding!
I will be back tomorrow to muse about S’mores — I am thinking of making my own marshmallows . . .