I don’t remember my mom ever making us rice pudding.
My mom, the best woman you could ever hope to meet, and a very gifted cook, is a terrible baker. She makes brilliant pies and biscuits, and fails miserably at just about everything else. I grew up with banana bread for every birthday- it was the only cake dense enough that it couldn’t fall in the middle after it came out of the oven.
So her standard throw together desserts were not cakes or cookies, but pudding-y things. In the summer this meant ice cream with warm blueberry compote, and in the winter it was custard with stewed apples.
I love stewed apples and custard. To this day my favourite flavour to pair with apples isn’t cinnamon, it’s vanilla and I know it’s because it reminds me of weird powdered Bird’s Custard with slow cooked apples melting on top.
Imexplicably it was only ever the powdered variety. She never made it from scratch. That was the way it was.
Which seems so strange to me, having discovered the joys of rice pudding as an adult. Why did she never cook rice in cream and put a compote on top of that? She made everything by hand, why not pudding, which is so crazy simple to make?
Life’s big questions friends.
All of this leads up to two things- one of which is that homemade pudding is just the most glorious thing, and two, that rice pudding is a close second.
I love rice pudding. So much.
My only qualm with it is how heavy it feels, really it’s just whipping cream and refined rice. Rice pudding is not for the faint of heart.
So when I saw a recipe for sweet buttermilk risotto in Aran Goyaoga’s cookbook I knew it needed to be mine right now. I substituted yoghurt for the buttermilk, mostly because I had some in my fridge and I was flipping through my cookbook having just gotten out of the bath, and there was no way I was not emotionally ready to take off my slippers and put on boots and head out into the rain. But also because I like yoghurt just as much as buttermilk. And then I switched up the kind of rice and used Arborio, so it was super starchy, and so instead of stirring it for half an hour I just simmered it. I also, as I usually do with rice pudding, used some water with the cream, just because I don’t like thinking about eating that much whipping cream in one sitting. It’s delicious, but also a bit hard to rationalize.
Yoghurt Rice Pudding
2cups Heavy Cream
¾ cup Arborio Rice
¼ cup White Sugar
½ Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise with the seeds scraped out and reserved.
1/3 cup Greek Yoghurt
In a medium pot over medium low heat bring the cream, rice, 1 cup water vanilla, and sugar to a boil. Immediately turn down the heat to low and allow to simmer for about 25 minutes, or until it is very tender. Stir occasionally through this process, adding more water as needed so that it keeps a nice consistency.
Remove from heat and stir in yoghurt.
Segment the grapefruit- cut the tops and bottoms off of the fruit.
With it standing up, cut the rind off, making sure there are no little bits of white pith.
Carefully pick up the grapefruit and, over a bowl, cut out each segment of fruit between the membranes, so that you take out the fruit and leave all the white pith behind.
To serve spoon the pudding into 4 bowls, top with the grapefruit segments and liberally sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over top.