I swear, sometimes I can’t handle the excellence that is this time of year (I’ll be saying the same thing again in six months–mark my words). The daylight, the jacketless afternoon walks to the coffee shop, the daffodils and tulips everywhere, and the impulse buys of mint-green shorts at Target (I REGRET NOTHING). So good.
Now, the downside to this time of year (well, this time of every odd-numbered year) for me is that I’m working a lot. By “a lot,” I mean 80 hours a week, sometimes. I try not to talk about it too much, just as I try not to talk about the weather, for the same reason: it’s boring. “You’re busy? Oh really? FASCINATING.”
But, I wanted to give you a heads up. In case you wondered why I’m not posting as much–because if you like this thing enough to wonder, I owe you an explanation, and probably dessert.
Such as… Comforting dessert. Creamy and somewhat rich, but zingy and fruity at the same time–because I like you THAT much. True facts.
So here’s everything I need to make this happen. Cream, milk, rice, an egg yolk, sugar, lemons, a vanilla beanlet (cuter name for 1/2 a vanilla bean).
The vanilla bean gets scraped, the lemons get zested…
And we rub it all together to make vanilla-lemon sugar. If, during this stage, you consider getting a spoon and calling this dessert… That makes at least two of us.
Rice gets added to milk for a good, long simmer. If you’re me, you’re obsessed with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but feel free to use whatever kind you like. Did you ever think we’d have so many milk options? It kind of blows my mind.
Cream and egg yolk get whisked together in a big bowl. Then we slowly add our hot, cooked rice mixture, whisk it all together, and return it to the pot for a bit more cooking action. And that’s it.
…Unless you want a nice compote, too. Blueberry and lemon are natural partners.
A simmer and a bubble here, too–a bit quicker, but much the same. Equally delicious, equally eligible to be dessert on its own as far as I’m concerned.
And, there we go! Does this look good enough to say “I’m sorry I’m not posting enough I’ll totally be back at it before you know it and wow your hair looks great today”?
- 1/2 cup arborio rice
- 2 1/4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped, pod reserved
- Zest of two lemons, about 1 tablespoon
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup or so)
- Add the zest, along with vanilla bean scrapings, to the sugar in a medium bowl. Rub zest and vanilla into the sugar with your hands to make lemon-vanilla sugar.
- In a large saucepan, combine the rice, milk, salt, sugar mixture and scraped vanilla bean pod and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Lower heat and continue cooking, stirring often, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod.
- While rice is cooking, make the compote. Combine about half of the blueberries with the sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and cook, stirring often, until the berries burst and mixture is bubbly, about 10 minutes. Then, add the remaining berries and continue cooking for about 8 more minutes, until mixture thickens up. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Whisk together the heavy cream and egg yolk in a large bowl, then slowly add all of the hot rice mixture while whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the it boils and thickens, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool a bit before topping with compote and serving. Serves 2 and is easily doubled to serve 4 or so--just double everything but the egg yolk.