This rice pudding is great on it's own but I added a few ingredients that I feel make this dessert special. I love adding a warm fruit compote on top of the cold rice pudding and topping it with whipped cream. I used caramelized cinnamon, brown sugar apples because of the season but you can use any fruit you like. I think this recipe would be great in the summer with caramelized pineapple or even bananas.
As I mentioned before, this is a great make ahead recipe, which makes it perfect to serve for a crowd. You can make this the day before and keep chilled in the refrigerator. If you prefer your rice pudding warm, you can serve it immediately after it is done cooking.
This is also a great dessert for children. You can always leave the rum out of the recipe, although it stays mostly in the raisins themselves. An added bonus is it's full of calcium from the milk and doesn't have added fat from butter or oil.
Rum Raisin Rice Pudding
3/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons dark rum
3/4 cup white basmati or arborio rice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 cups half-and-half or whole milk, divided (I used whole milk)
1/2 cup sugar
1 extra-large egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the toppings:
4 apples-peeled and diced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
8 oz heavy cream
1/2 to 1 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Extra cinnamon for garnish
1. In a small bowl, combine raisins and rum. Set aside.
2. Combine rice and salt with 1 1/2 cups water in a medium stainless steel saucepan. Bring water to a boil, stir once, and simmer, covered on lowest heat for 8-9 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. (If the stove is very hot, pull the pan halfway off the burner)
3. Stir in 4 cups if milk and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, until rice is very soft. Stir often, particularly toward the end.
4. Slowly stir in beaten egg and cook 1 minute.
5. Off the heat, add in the vanilla extract and raisins with any additional rum. Stir well.
6. Pour into a bowl, and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Serve chilled or warm.
7. To make the toppings, add the diced apple, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Add in a splash of water to prevent sticking and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes until apples are soft but not mushy. Stir occasionally.
8. Meanwhile, make the whipped cream by adding the heavy cream in a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer) with whisk attachment. Whip the cream until it begins to thicken. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to whip on high until stiff peaks form.
9. To serve: fill each bowl with rice pudding, top with warm apples and a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with a little cinnamon.