Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lavender Mandarin Rice Pudding Brûlée with Almonds ~ Integrale Risotto Challenge

This lavender mandarin rice pudding hits all the high notes for a dessert: creamy, sweet, and yes, even a touch of crunchy. I am thrilled to have passed the first round of the Marx Foods Risotto Gauntlet* and made it into the second round: dessert!


Rice pudding is a quintessential comfort food reminiscent of home and childhood. An important part of my childhood is my Mom's garden, including her stunningly fragrant lavender plants. The combination of mandarin and lavender results in an ethereal fragrance that is complimented by the creamy, custard topped rice and rich almonds.

Lavender Mandarin Rice Pudding with Almonds ~ serves 4
1/2 cup Integrale rice
1.5 cups skim milk
2 teaspoon lavender flowers, divided
zest of 2 mandarin oranges
pinch of salt 
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
1/4 cup almonds, blanched & slivered 

Soak one teaspoon lavender flowers in the heavy cream. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 325º F. Butter four individual ramekins. Set aside.

Put the other teaspoon of lavender flowers in a tea ball or cheesecloth. Cook the rice in the skim milk with the lavender stuffed tea ball. Zest the mandarin oranges into the rice. Add a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until milk is absorbed and rice is cooked. Remove from heat.


Strain the heavy cream and discard the lavender flowers. Whisk the cream, eggs and sugar together. Combine with the rice and the slivered almonds. Divide evenly among the prepared ramekins. Cook in a water bath for 50-60 minutes or until the custard has set. Sprinkle tops with sugar and using a torch or your broiler melt the sugar to brûlée the tops. Serve warm.


Enjoy!

*I received a sample box of Integrale rice from Marx Foods. Recipe, photos, and all related text are my own.

21 comments:

  1. I love the scent of fresh lavender. This must make the kitchen, or perhaps the whole house, smell divine.

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  2. This sounds wonderful! I love rice pudding and the addition of lavender is genius!

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  3. This is great! See, yours is a rice pudding I would eat! I love what you did by cooking it in the water bath and transforming what we think of as rice pudding.

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    1. Thanks so much, Susan! I'm excited to see everyone's entries.

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  4. WOW!! This sounds so wonderful...fragrant and flavorful! I must make this.

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  5. YUM! I still haven't found this risotto type but I must!

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  6. Wow, Beautiful!!!! Can you believe I still have not cooked with lavender, ugh! This is really gorgeous! Hugs, Terra

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  7. I want to crack my spoon right through that brûlée crust - I am a big fan of lavender.

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  8. Yay, congrats on making it into the dessert round! This looks yummy.

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  9. I love the contrast in color the lavender provides.

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  10. Delicious combination of flavors Jess! Wonderful execution with the brulee crust! All I need now is spoon!!!!!

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  11. Lavender and citrus is so nice. Reminds me of lavender lemonade ... but with rice. The brulee is a nice touch,too!

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  12. I've been all about lavender lately!! I love it!

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  13. i wonder if the lavender could be swapped out with tea since I don't much care for lavender. the idea to brulee the top is genius too -- such a great combination of the two best desserts!

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  14. Wow. That's such a complex flavor profile, I'm pretty sure it would blow me away just SMELLING this. LECKER.

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  15. Oh wow, what a creative use of ingredients!! I have a pot of lavender sugar!! Sorted ;-)

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  16. What a great rice pudding recipe. It is so funny, rice pudding was also a big staple in my childhood. I still love it.

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  17. Wow, Jess! Gorgeous entry:) Love a bruleed rice pudding--such a nice surprise under the caramelized goodness! Best of luck in round 2!!

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