Arborio Rice Pudding with Caramelized Apples

by formerchef on May 5, 2010

Post image for Arborio Rice Pudding with Caramelized Apples

In keeping with the theme of Mother’s Day this week, I offer up the dessert I would be making my own mother to go along with this salad if she were in town this week. Rice pudding is one of her favorite desserts, but instead of having this with me on Sunday, she’s off gallivanting around the Italian countryside. Without me, I might add.

Most rice puddings are typically made with long grain rice. I made this one with arborio, a short grain rice with more starch in it, which is most often used to give the creamy texture to risotto. It also retains the character of the rice better and thus does not completely dissolve into mush when cooked.

The recipe for the pudding is really simple can be adapted to fit your needs and tastes. If you don’t want to take the time to make the caramelized apples (though I really suggest you do) you can easily add dried fruits like raisins or cherries near the end of the cooking process. If making this in the summer, I would suggest quickly sauteing up some sliced stone fruits like peaches, nectarines or plums with a little butter and pinch of brown sugar. It also lends itself to being served family style (see the bottom of the recipe for presentation ideas).

Are you cooking anything special for Mother’s Day? Let me know…

Arborio Rice Pudding with Caramelized Apples
Printable Recipe in PDF

Rice Pudding Recipe:

1 cup arborio rice (about 6 oz weight/180 g.)
6 cups milk
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a 2 quart, heavy bottomed pot, mix together the arborio rice, milk, and sugar. Bring to a simmer.  Stir frequently to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot and be careful not to let the milk boil over.
Cook until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. When the rice is done, mix in the cinnamon and vanilla. Turn the heat off and allow to cool. The rice pudding with thicken a lot as it cools.

Recipe makes six 3/4 cup portions.
Option: If you want to add raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries or other fruit, instead of making the apples, add them in when you add the cinnamon and vanilla.

Caramelized Apples:

2 lbs apples (whole), peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 1/2 cup apple juice (or water)
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Peel and slice the apples. In a large saute pan, melt 2 Tbsp. of the butter and add the sliced apples. Saute for 2 minutes and add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook for 5 more minutes over medium heat and then add the 1/4 cup of sugar and 3/4 cup apple juice.

Allow the liquid in the pan to reduce so that the apples begin to caramelize. Add the cinnamon. Keep the apples moving so they do not burn, and cook until they are browned and sticky. Add the last 1/2 cup of apple juice, stir and swirl in the last tablespoon of butter to loosen the apples and make a bit of a sauce for them.

Assemble the dessert:
I served this in glass dessert cups, putting about a tablespoon of the apple mix on the bottom, 3/4 of a cup of rice pudding in the middle, and then another couple tablespoons of apple mix on top. Another option would be to serve it “family style” in a baking dish with the caramelized apples on top (see photo below).

Check out some other wandering foodies at Wanderfood Wednesdays

1 Sharon May 5, 2010 at 9:22 am

OMG–I am so sorry I forgot mine in the fridge in the cottage…WAH!! I want it now.

2 Stephanie May 5, 2010 at 9:25 am

First of all, gorgeous photos – did you take them yourself? Second, that looks so tasty – I’m going to have to give it a try this weekend for Mother’s Day 🙂

3 formerchef May 5, 2010 at 9:29 am

Stephanie-Thank you! Yes, I take all the photos on the blog myself.

4 Stephan May 5, 2010 at 1:55 pm

For the rice what kind of milk did you use, 2% or whole or does it matter?

5 formerchef May 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I have used both kinds of milk and both worked well. I was going to put the kind of milk on the recipe but took it off because it didn’t really seem to make a difference. But I’m glad you asked!

6 Stephan May 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Thanks. I’ve had a few recipes blow up because of the fat in the milk, but I haven’t found a pattern.

7 Simone May 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Delicious! I love rice pudding and great idea too to make this with arborio. Beautiful shots too!

8 Carrie May 5, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Oh my. Oh my. Oh my. Oh my. This looks positively delicious. I’m not usually a big fan of rice pudding, but your photos (along with the caramelized apples) have changed my mind. YUM!

9 Nancie (Ladyexpat) May 6, 2010 at 2:08 am

This looks amazingly good, and your photos are outstanding.

10 jessiev May 6, 2010 at 8:10 am

OMG. this is to die for. i LOVE rice pudding. what a fantastic recipe – thank you!!

11 Beth May 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm

What a great idea – the end result looks so luscious! Beautiful photos.

12 Arlene May 14, 2010 at 3:41 pm

This is really great. Now I can come over here to get some recipes. 🙂 I see that you are on the Foodieblogroll too. Small world. Did you know I am Jenn’s mom? This recipe looks amazing and not too hard either. It is going on my to try list.

13 formerchef May 14, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Yes, I knew! 😉 Jenn told me about the Travel Blogroll when you started it.

14 Elizabeth February 13, 2011 at 7:06 pm

I made this tonight as a treat after a long day. It was really lovely.

15 marilyn from Scotland March 6, 2011 at 9:58 am

Just made rice pud with apples, very good but it took ages to thicken! Omitted the cinammon from the pudding as ther aws enough in the apples. Tomorrow I may add a little sugar to cinammon and sprinkle over the rice-delicious.

16 Veny December 11, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Oh My My….Its a lovely pudding… !!!
Instead of Apples Can We Use Caramelized Pineapple ???

17 formerchef December 12, 2011 at 6:34 am

Why not, I bet that would be good.

18 Angie April 25, 2013 at 9:23 am

Hi, would you be able to use dried apples?

19 formerchef April 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Possibly, though you’d need to reconstitute them and I’m not sure if you’d get the same caramelization.

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