This recipe is from Foster's new book, "Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen." Check out my interview with her in today's paper.
Carolina Rice Pudding Brûlée
Humble rice pudding gets a serious makeover with the addition of flavorful, fat-grained Carolina Gold rice and a glassy, sugared brûlée crust. From "Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen: Soulful, Traditional, Seasonal," by Sara Foster (Random House, 2011).
Cooking spray or melted butter
3 cups milk
3/4 cup Carolina Gold or other long-grain white rice
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
6 tablespoons natural cane sugar or granulated sugar
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease six 4-ounce ramekins and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
BRING milk, rice, vanilla bean and reserved seeds and salt to a low simmer over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Raise the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and the mixture is thick and creamy, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the vanilla bean.
ADD heavy cream and granulated sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks, butter, nutmeg, and cloves.
DIVIDE pudding evenly between the prepared ramekins and bake for about 10 minutes, until slightly puffed but still soft in the center. Remove from the oven.
PREHEAT broiler or prepare a small kitchen torch. Sprinkle each pudding evenly with about 1 tablespoon of the natural cane sugar. If using a broiler, place under the broiler in the upper third of the oven until the sugar caramelizes, rotating the baking sheet to evenly brown, 1 to 2 minutes. If using a kitchen torch, torch each pudding individually to caramelize the sugar, being careful to keep the torch at the distance recommended by the manufacturer. Serve warm.
6 (4-ounce) servings