Monday, March 10, 2008

Apple Cinnamon Rice Pudding

This is really a apple cinnamon risotto, but that sounds less appetizing than rice pudding. This risotto makes a great and healthy dessert, and doubles as a tasty winter breakfast if you're so inclined. The rice will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, in a tightly sealed container.

And as always, the key to a super-creamy risotto is constant stirring. Enlist a helper.

-2 Tbls butter
-1 1/2 C. arborio rice
-1/2 C. apple wine (optional)
-3 to 4 C. apple cider or juice
-3 granny smith (or other tart variety) apples
-2 to 4 tsp. cinnamon (to taste)
-2 Tbls brown sugar
-pinch sea salt

1. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the rice and stir constantly over medium-high heat until fragrant; about 2 minutes.
2. Pour in the apple wine, or if omitted, pour in 1/2 C. apple cider/juice. Stir as the wine cooks off and when the rice is dry, add 1 C. apple cider. Turn heat to medium. Stir constantly to allow the rice to soak up the liquid and release gooey starch.
3. Have your helper peel, core, and finely chop (1/4" cubes) the apples. Add to the skillet with the rice.
4. When rice is dry again, pour in another cup of cider. Continue stirring until liquid is absorbed, adding more liquid, stirring until absorbed, etc. until all the cider has been absorbed into the dish and rice is chewy/no longer hard in the middle.
5. Add cinnamon, brown sugar, and sea salt and stir until the sugar dissolves. Taste and season with more salt or sugar if necessary. Don't put too much sugar in, though, or the sweet overwhelms the apple.
6. Serve warm next to a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
7. Groan in ecstasy.

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