Today I was looking for a comforting dessert with the flavors of a warmer season. This combination has it all. It’s a simple baked rice pudding topped with a bright, fresh tropical fruit compote enhanced with ginger and lime. You can prepare the fruit while the rice mixture bakes and have it ready when the pudding comes out of the oven. The contrast of warm rice pudding with cool, tropical fruit is heavenly. And as the snow continues to fall here, this dish will bring a little hint of warm weather to our after-dinner table this evening.
Coconut Rice Pudding with Pineapple-Mango Compote
For the pudding:
1 14 ounce can coconut milk
2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 cup short -grain rice, such as Arborio
pinch of salt
Pineapple-Mango Compote (see below)
Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter an 8×8 inch, 2 quart capacity baking dish. In a medium bowl combine the coconut milk, whole milk, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk to combine and add the rice and salt. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish, cover tightly with foil, and bake for about 1 1/4 hours. Remove the foil and check the rice; if it seems dry, drizzle in a little more milk. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the mixture is bubbling. Let stand for a moment or two then scoop into dessert dishes and top with the fruit compote, drizzling on a little of the syrup as well. The rice pudding will become quite firm as it cools, so try to serve it as soon as possible after it comes from the oven. (Leftovers will need to be rehydrated with additional coconut and regular milk).
1 cup small- diced pineapple
1 cup small-diced mango (from 1 medium mango)
2-3 tablespoons ginger simple syrup*
finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lime
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate until needed. This compote would also be good with pineapple-coconut or dulce de leche ice cream or, of course, mango sorbet.
*Make simple syrup with equal amounts of granulated sugar and water (1/2 cup of each is sufficient for this recipe). Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, and add two 1/4 inch thick slices peeled, fresh ginger. Allow to cool and infuse until the ginger flavor is to your liking. Remove the ginger and store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Simple syrup is a handy ingredient to have for making cocktails.
(rice pudding recipe minimally adapted from “Simple Honest Food” by Bill Granger)