¶Kisses sweeter than wine¶
Kid has never had rice pudding. She is 10, how did this happen? We had it all the time as kids. That sweet, sticky, lightly vanilla flavoured treat firmly implanted on my childhood psyche. Mum knows how to keep things simple.
I do too, just not on this occasion. I can be the proverbial kid in the lolly shop at my deli. Saffron, rose-water, shaved coconut, spices and, given the boon season, strawberries.
I could smell the strawberries before I even entered the shop. Our local producers were smashed by a freak storm earlier in the year, they seem to have recovered somewhat. It worries me when supermarkets sell them for $2 a punnet mid-season. What are the farmers getting?
Screwed no doubt. Hit the weekend markets or pay the extra 2 bucks at the fruit shop peeps…
Saffron is a dear, sweet love of mine. It’s pricey, the most expensive spice in the world, but if you buy the good stuff and use it properly, you get good mileage.
Spiced Saffron Rice Pudding w/ Strawberries, Coconut and Rosewater.HOW?
Firstly rinse your rice under some cool water and strain. In a suitably sized saucepan toast the cardamom and cinnamon until fragrant. Add a little coconut, the saffron and vanilla and 1/2 a cup of water. Place on the heat for a minute or two. The water will help the saffron to bleed. Now add your coconut milk and sugar. Warm gently and let simmer very slowly for 15 mins. Strain the spices out, return the liquid back to the pan. Stir in the rice and cook gently, stirring occasionally for 20-25 mins. The rice should be cooked and sitting in plenty of liquid. Stir in the yolks thoroughly, remove from heat and chill in the fridge for later.In the meantime. Toast your coconut in the oven on 140*c for 5 mins. It will burn very quickly if you forget it. Chop the strawberries as big or small as you like and toss with the rosewater. Rosewater is overpowering and unpleasant if you over do it. We are using an eye dropper to avoid this. Get it right and it’s a perfect match for ripe, sweet strawberries.What Kid DidToday I had kid ‘hulling’ the strawberries (chopping the tops off). Toasting coconut in the oven. Weighing ingredients. Straining the spices from the coconut milk. Measuring and mixing the rosewater. Stirring the rice on the stove and finally helping to arrange our dessert in pretty glasses for you all to see.We layered the cold rice, strawberries and toasted coconut in the glasses. They look great huh?! It will look good and taste the same however you serve this. You could layer all the ingredients in a dish and serve from there or serve the strawberries and coconut over the rice in a bowl for each person.
And the result? Kid didn’t like this rice much. Loved the strawberries but left the rice. That’s okay. As I said I got a bit carried away and made it all a bit cheffy. It’s the saffron that’s largely the problem here. It has a particular flavour which I probably wouldn’t have liked at 10 either. I’ll keep this one for when my adult friends come for dinner and make Kid a nice simple rice pudding next time. Or just get Mum to make it instead.
<em>¶You know that little girl is mine…¶