To end a summery meal, we enjoy deep dishes of sweet and creamy rice pudding. The first bite takes us back to our grandparents’ screen porch up in Swampscott, MA where our papou first introduced us to his favorite dessert. We remember indulging in the cinnamon-dusted custard with Papou while watching golfers putt in the adjacent golf course. Out on the serene and breezy porch, it was always an afternoon of ultimate relaxation.
In our version, we use Spanish Arborio rice which creates a velvety richness when simmered in whole milk. To offset the creaminess, we top the pudding with seasonal cherries and for an added crunch, salty pistachios.
1 c Arborio rice
6 c whole milk
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 t lemon zest
1/2 t cinnamon, plus more for dusting
1/2 c chopped fresh cherries
1/2 c chopped pistachios
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the milk, sugar, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the rice, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and the majority of the liquid has absorbed, about 40-45 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, lemon zest and cinnamon. Pour the pudding into a large bowl and cool to room temperature. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill completely. Sprinkle chopped cherries and pistachios on top of each serving with an extra dusting of cinnamon. Serves 6-8.
This Father’s Day, we recommend whipping up a batch of this rich and creamy treat!