Last night, the hubs and I whipped up a delicious rice pudding recipe that I just had to share.  It was that good!  However, this was not your typical rice pudding.  For one, it had a pronounced toasted flavor.  In addition, we dialed back the sweetness, adding a tropical flair with lime and coconut.  Finally, we added a little crunch with crushed pistachios.  At the last minute, it dawned on us to pair our dessert with Amaretto on the rocks, which really took our indulgent treat to the next level.  Here’s how we made it…

Ingredients:

1 cup aborio rice

4 cups coconut milk

2 teaspoons coconut oil

1 handful of pistachios, shelled and crushed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lime

2 tablespoons agave nectar–or to taste

Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

A note about the ingredients…

I chose aborio rice, because I’m partial to its texture–somewhere between white rice and brown.  It’s also a slightly shorter grain.  However, a different variety will work too.  Similarly, I chose agave nectar as a sweetener, because it easily dissolves in a liquid mixture.  Still, sugar or even honey will get the job done as well.

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine the coconut oil (which is solid at room temperature) with the dry rice, browning it.  In all fairness, we basically burned it, because we like the sort of thing.  If you don’t, stop when the rice turns light to medium brown.  Once your rice is toasted to your liking, add 2 (of the 4 cups) of coconut milk to the pan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, cover and simmer on low.

Stir in the remaining coconut milk, vanilla extract, and agave nectar.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  As a general rule, I use about 1/3 the nutmeg that I do cinnamon.  It’s much more potent.  Once your rice pudding is seasoned and sweetened to your liking, chill it in the fridge.  If you can, let it sit in there over night.

Serve in small bowls with a dusting of lime zest and crushed pistachios.

Again, I highly recommend enjoying your rice pudding with some Amaretto, an Italian almond liqueur that’s syrupy, mild, and dangerously drinkable.  Its warm, sweet flavor compliments the spice and citrus of this rice pudding recipe.  Served over the rocks, it’s slightly less sweet and well matched by this not-so-sugary dessert.