Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Coconut Rice Pudding

The other night while reading this month's Food and Wine I had an urge to make something sweet, specifically the Butterscotch Sticky Rolls which so deliciously grace the cover. I began reading through the ingredient list, calculating just how long it would take to make them and then it hit me, like it has so many times over the past month, that I don't have a working oven. You see I recently moved to a new place where it appears the list of things that work is shorter than the list of things that do not and the oven is included in the "do not" list. This has caused a lot of frustration and has definitely curtailed my normal cooking habits. Looking on the bright side, the stove top does work and the oven should be fixed *fingers crossed* soon.

So after having a slight pity party over the sticky buns, I continued to read on and when I saw the recipe for Coconut Arborio Rice Pudding it was an "aha!" moment. Here was a dessert I could make without using the oven. My sweet tooth had been saved.

Now I'm sure that some of you out there are not fans of coconut and probably even less of you like rice pudding, but if you happen to like both, this is the recipe for you. And please take my word for it, don't go by the picture which I know, is less than appealing. It turns out trying to photograph rice pudding at night with a flash leaves you with a lot of pictures of a bowl of glowing white light. Like this!
Mmm glowing white light...

So look beyond the photo and maybe look beyond your possible coconut and/or rice pudding phobias. I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious this turned out from so few ingredients and I loved how there was just a subtle flavor of coconut that added a different kind of sweetness to the dish.

The method behind rice pudding couldn't be simpler - heat milk and rice with any sweeteners and flavorings until boiling and then simmer for around 30 minutes. I've made it with several different types of white rice and they all work fine. I tend to prefer arborio, it gets a little plumper than the others, but I only had jasmine on hand the other night and it was equally tasty. The only other change I made was to add a dash of vanilla. I believe in the power of vanilla, it just seems to make most desserts better.

Coconut Rice Pudding
Adapted slightly from Food and Wine

1 quart whole milk
1 cup rice (see above notes)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup coarsely shredded coconut*

In a large saucepan combine the milk, rice and sugar with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and suspended in a thick creamy sauce, about 30 minutes.

Stir in the vanilla and coconut milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is very tender and the liquid is thickened, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Toast coconut in a pan over medium heat stirring constantly (careful! it can burn quickly) until golden brown, about 4 minutes.

Spoon the rice pudding in to bowls and garnish with the toasted coconut.

*the original recipe called for unsweetened, I only had sweetened on hand and and it worked fine.


  1. If it makes you feel any better, Nicole at www.pinchmysalt.com attempted the F&W sticky buns and they did not come out well. http://pinchmysalt.com/2009/12/31/butterscotch-sticky-buns/

  2. The Jan issue of F&W is chock full of incredible recipes! Thanks for making this one, I'm definitely going to try it. Love the short ingredient list. Speaking of coconut, I have a 5lb bag of coconut flour that I've been wondering what to do with. Mary, you are welcome to take it for experimentation purposes if you'd like. I think it might be good in a banana bread.

  3. Oooh, I will definitely take your coconut flour! I ordered a new bundt pan, so I think a wave of quickbreads is about to hit.


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