Who doesn't want to be transported to the tropics. It's nice to dream about relaxing under the palm trees while enjoying the balmy breezes.
This rice pudding can take you there whether you are just sitting on a lawn chair or at your kitchen table.
You can make this recipe in advance and you'll have plenty of time to get the rest of your meal together without stress. If you are having a Labor Day celebration, this rice pudding is the perfect ending.
When you are preparing for your Labor Day celebration add to your shopping list the coconut milk, shredded coconut and the arborio rice if you don't usually keep that in your pantry.
If you are concerned about buying arborio rice because you never use it, you can substitute any long grain rice (do NOT use instant rice).
However, if you would like to use the arborio rice for the pudding, you can use the rest of the rice for risotto. If you never made risotto, don't worry, it's easy to make. I will share a recipe that is almost foolproof.
Tropical Rice Pudding
(adapted from Food & Wine)
- 1 quart milk
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 13 (or 14) oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- Combine the milk, sugar, rice and 2 cups water in a LARGE saucepan, stir and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, reduce to simmer on medium heat and stir frequently (every 5 minutes or so). Cook until the mixture starts to look thick and creamy, about 30 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut milk and continue to simmer and stir frequently. Let cook about another 10 minutes. The rice will be tender and the milk will have thickened.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to cool -- about 20 minutes. Stir it once while cooling.
- Place the pudding in a bowl and chill. The mixture may not be fully absorbed as yet, but it needs to sit about an hour or two.
- Toast the shredded coconut in a saute pan. When you are ready to serve the rice pudding sprinkle the toasted coconut on top of each serving.
- Optional -- Add additional tropical fruits for a delicious tropical dessert.
As with most of the recipes I post, this is flexible. If you do not like coconut or coconut milk then substitute with half milk and half cream. Substitute chocolate chips for the coconut. You can also use raisins or any dried fruit of your choice, adding them while the mixture is still hot and setting up.
This recipe makes 6 to 8 1 or 1 1/2 cup servings.