I love warm creamy desserts in the winter. Don’t you?
Among my favorites is rice pudding. I love a traditional rice pudding with nothing but vanilla extract in it. Though sometimes I will add some warming spices like cinnamon & nutmeg. I’ve even enjoyed a couple of Italian dessert risottos which I will definitely post one day. But I’m also intrigued by Middle Eastern flavors. And a gift of some rose petal covered candies inspired me to add some of these flavors to rice pudding. This rice pudding is warm and rich with a hint of rose blossoms, orange blossoms and cardamom. Top it with some chopped pistachios for a burst of color and texture.
Using rose water and orange blossom water to me, can be a little tricky. It’s like using saffron or lavender in your cooking. A hint of these spices can lend a really special flavor to your dish. Too much and you feel like you are ingesting perfume or soap! I’ve always started by using less than what I thought would be necessary, until I acquired a better taste for it.
And while I usually don’t really want much texture to interfere with my creamy enjoyment of pudding, the pistachios are a must! The salty, crunchy bite is perfect among the floral notes of this pudding.
I really love cooking seasonally. And I love adding fresh herbs and even flowers to my cooking and baking. But during those seasons when some ingredients aren’t readily available, you just have to improvise. This rice pudding, with it’s unique Middle Eastern flavors, certainly brings a breath of springtime to this really special dessert.
Create inclusion with simple mindfulness that others may have a different reality from your own.
- ¾ cup of short grained rice
- 4 cups of whole milk
- 6 Tablespoons of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of rose water
- ½ teaspoon of orange blossom water
- ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom
- 4 Tablespoons of coarsely chopped pistachios
- Combine the sugar, milk and cardamom in a large, heavy pot and heat on low, stirring until the sugar has melted.
- Add the rice and bring the mixture to a boil..
- Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until most of the water is absorbed, about 1 hour.
- Add the orange & rose waters and continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Pour into serving dishes and top with pistachios.