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Rice pudding with roast apple compote & boozy prunes recipe image

Print Rice pudding with roast apple compote & boozy prunes

Wipe away grim memories of school dinners; this rice pudding is a luxury affair. And yes, the skin is the best bit, to be fought over, not feared! We’ve invited it to the Christmas table with spiced apples and boozy dried fruit. Blistering the apples in the oven deepens the flavour and sweetness; apart a pinch of spice, they need nothing else.

Ingredients

  • 75g salted butter
  • 100g unrefined caster sugar
  • 125g pudding rice
  • 800ml milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • Seeds from half a fresh vanilla pod
  • 6 red apples
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 12 prunes
  • 100ml brandy or Cognac

Method

  1. Place the prunes in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to steep for an hour. Drain away the water and tip in the booze. Leave them to get to know each other for a couple of hours, preferably for a couple of days.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200˚C/Gas 6. Use an apple corer to remove the core from all 6 apples. Keep them whole and place them in a roasting tray – although it doesn’t feel right, you don’t need any oil or butter. Roast for 25 mins, until blistered and soft. They should be ready just as the pudding needs to go in.
  3. Meanwhile, to start the pudding, melt the butter in a large saucepan, until starting to turn golden. Add the sugar and let them both turn into a golden caramel. It will look a bit split and crystalized at points, but it is the colour that you are more concerned with.
  4. Stir in the rice, milk, cream and vanilla. Slowly bring the mix up to a simmer, stirring gently to dissolve and dislodge the caramel as you do so. Transfer the mix to a suitably sized baking dish or casserole pan.
  5. Remove the apples from the oven and reduce the temperature to 160˚C/Gas 3. Transfer the rice pudding to the oven and bake for 1½-2 hours, until a deep golden and slightly blistered skin has formed, and the rice is tender and creamy beneath. If the skin looks like it may be starting to burn too much, cover it lightly with foil towards the end of the cooking time.
  6. While the pudding cooks, peel away and discard as much skin as you can from the apples. Put them in a food processor with the allspice and whizz into a purée. If you want it perfectly smooth you can press it through a fine sieve.
  7. Serve the rice pudding warm, with a blob of compote and a few dark, boozy prunes. Trickle over any remaining brandy.
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