Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.
While there is nothing wrong with rice pudding featuring traditional raisins and cinnamon, the orange and rum in this version come together for an incredibly intriguing dessert.
This dish is fragrant and presents beautifully with the help of the orange. I’ve also tried this with blood oranges when I can find them, or a combination of both. This particular recipe serves up to six depending on portion, but is easily manipulated for more or fewer people.
5 cups whole milk
¾ cup medium-grain white rice
1 vanilla bean
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon rum
2 teaspoons orange zest
Orange segments for garnish
Heat a medium saucepan and combine milk and rice. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into pan and add the bean. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer. Stir occasionally until the rice is tender and has absorbed some of the milk, 25-30 minutes.
Stir in sugar, rum, and orange zest. Cook for another 10 minutes while pudding thickens. Discard vanilla bean and transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for a few hours until pudding is cold. Serve with 2-3 segments.