At our house, rice pudding is a HUGE comfort food. Right up there with tapioca pudding, but that’s another post. And then, there’s pumpkin pie, all spicy and creamy. And around this time of year, pumpkin pops up in everything, so I decided to combine these two comforts. Why not? And just in time for Thanksgiving, too. I like a rather spice-filled flavor with pumpkin, so there is a nice assortment of spices here. And I do include the black pepper and ground cardamom. Cardamom does have a very specific flavor; some people like, some—not so much. So, you’ll need to decide for yourself.
This goes together rather quickly. I use a pretty good-sized pot with a heavy bottom. I put the rice, the water and the salt together in the pot, then bring it to a boil. I know that’s not what the recipe says, and I usually do follow the recipe instructions, but I thought I would try this. It worked fine, I thought. Turn the heat to low; simmer for 8 minutes. The rice will not be fully cooked. Remove the pan from the heat source; let stand for about 10-15 minutes. Now, we’re going to depart from the recipe for a couple of minutes. You know how sometimes the culinary Gods smile? And sometimes they kick you in the teeth! Well, today my teeth are hurtin’! Yeah, the car is in the shop and it turns out, I have no ground ginger and I want to make this today! Well, damn! Now what? But, I have fresh ginger…so off we go, down the yellow brick road, to Plan B. I got out my microplane, peeled some ginger (about a 1-inch piece) and grated away. I used a good big teaspoon of the grated ginger and I tossed it into the rice, just before I popped the lid on for it to rest. So now, it’s going to rest, just as the recipe is written.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. While the rice is taking its little nap, measure out the pumpkin and maple syrup. Whisk the milks, pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, and spices all together. When the resting period is over, stir the pumpkin mixture into the rice, until well-combined. It works best if the rice is still hot; the mixture will be quite soupy.
Cover and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the liquid has reduced by about one-third, 45 to 55 minutes. The mixture will be foamy and bubbling. It should be a bit on the soupy side; the mixture will thicken considerably as it “rests”. Carefully remove the pan from the oven (CAREFUL—the handles will be hot!); stir well to combine. Pour into a large bowl, cover and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight. I think overnight is best—much better flavor development. This keeps for 4-5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, top each portion with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon. I do like to add a little bourbon to the cream when I’m whipping it. I don’t sweeten the cream, but that’s up to you and your taste buds.
Some people like rice pudding served warm. That isn’t me. I love it very cold and this is no exception. But, yet again, that’s up to you and your buds.
Spicy Pumpkin Pie Rice Pudding
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk (1 12-ounce can)
- 1 cup solid-pack pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon ground Vietnamese cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional-I use it)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon very finely, freshly ground black pepper (optional-I use it)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bring the water to a boil in an oven-proof 4-quart saucepan. Stir in the salt and rice; cover. Reduce the heat to low; simmer for 10. The rice will not be fully cooked. Remove the pan from the heat source; let stand for about 10-15 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milks, pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, and spices. Stir in the pumpkin mixture until well combined. The rice should still be hot; the mixture will be quite soupy.
Cover and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the liquid has reduced by about a third, 45 to 55 minutes. The mixture will be foamy and bubbling. Carefully remove from the oven (the handles will be hot!); stir well to combine. Pour into a large bowl, cover and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight. Can be made ahead (actually I think it’s better); keeps for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, top each portion with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
NOTE: You may use 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice, but I feel this is much tastier if you add the spices individually.
Spicy Pumpkin Pie Rice Pudding Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017. All rights reserved.