I’m trying something a little crazy…my go to arroz con leche recipe has plain ‘ol milk in it. This is my first time using coconut milk and it’s my first time knowingly trying any food with this in it. Hopefully it’s not a complete waste of ingredients and time…I love rice pudding and it’s something that reminds me of my childhood. My Gram made her version (my fave no matter what) often and my siblings and I ate it hot as a breakfast treat. I’m sure I’ll never be able to recreate hers, but in the meantime, I’m having fun tasting other versions. This need for rice pudding came when I realized that I have several Madagascar vanilla beans patiently waiting to be used in my pantry. I bought them over the summer and haven’t used a single bean! How dare I! 😉 It has been at least a full year since the last time I made this decadent treat, so why not put the two together? While searching through Tastespotting, I found several versions of the classic – some with coconut milk and some with vanilla bean seeds. This recipe is a mishmash of a few recipes and techniques that will hopefully come together beautifully!
Verdict: So good, I love this stuff! Creamy, slightly sweet and perfectly comforting in my book. I didn’t notice the coconut flavor, but it wasn’t as thick or “butter fatty” as the other recipe. I only used one cup because coconut milk has such a high fat content, so I’ll be on the look out for lighter coconut milk. Also, I was also able to make a bigger batch of vanilla sugar the day I made this, so hopefully I can find the perfect use for some of it. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Coconut and Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding –
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- lemon zest (strips, not grated)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch of kosher salt
Pour rice and water into a 4 quart dutch oven or larger. Add the lemon peel, cinnamon stick and vanilla seeds to the pot. Let sit for an hour.
After soaking, bring the rice mixture to a boil on high heat, uncovered. When it starts to boil (about 5 minutes), lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 more minutes or until water is almost evaporated.
Add the milk and stir well to mix, add the sugar and cook over medium-low heat, stirring carefully, until it thickens slightly or until desired consistency, about 25 to 35 minutes. Remove the lemon zest and cinnamon sticks.
Serve hot, cold or room temperature.