‘Once upon a time, I thought this much-fêted nursery pudding was a stodgy, sticky mess, and I couldn’t work out what all the fuss was about. However, Mark Hix’s recipe is perfection, and should convert any naysayer. It’s served warm or at room temperature (my personal favourite), scented with vanilla, and treads lightly with its sweetness. It’s paired with poached rhubarb, which is not only beautiful in its pink tones, but also totally delicious’

Thomasina Miers

Jersey rice pudding with rhubarb

Extract from Mark Hix’s
Hix Oyster and Chop House
Published by Quadrille

A good rice pudding relies on the use of quality ingredients and careful cooking. You can serve this with whatever fruits happen to be in season. A compote of plums and autumn berries, spiced with a little cinnamon, is delicious. Or you could simply top the pudding with a dollop of strawberry jam, if you prefer.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1-1.5 litres Jersey milk
70g-90g caster sugar, to taste ½ vanilla pod
100g short-grain pudding rice
500ml thick Jersey or double cream

For the rhubarb
300g-400g rhubarb, trimmed and washed
120g caster sugar

Method

Pour 1 litre milk into a heavy-based saucepan and add 70g of the sugar. Split the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife and add them to the milk, along with the empty pod. Bring the milk to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then add the rice.

Simmer very gently, stirring regularly, for about 45 minutes until the rice is soft. Use a simmer plate or a heat-diffuser mat if you have one to maintain a steady low heat. Add a little more milk during cooking if the rice pudding seems to be getting too thick. Taste for sweetness, stirring in a bit more sugar if you think it is needed.

Leave the pudding to stand for about another half an hour, stirring from time to time. Now remove the vanilla pod and stir in two-thirds of the cream. Allow to cool, again stirring every so often.

For the rhubarb, preheat the oven to 200˚C/gas mark 6. Cut the rhubarb roughly into 1cm pieces. Place in a baking tray or oven-proof dish and scatter over the caster sugar. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes until the rhubarb is tender.

Carefully pour off the cooking juices from the rhubarb into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and let bubble until reduced by about half and thickened. Pour back over the rhubarb and leave to cool.
Before serving, stir the rest of the cream into the rice pudding. Serve at room temperature or warm, with the rhubarb spooned over the top.

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