Rice Pudding with Cardamom Meringues
- Yield 4 to 6 servings
A dessert with several components that can all be made ahead and used in other dishes.
The pudding and cookies must be made ahead. The cookies are the perfect mate to the crème anglaise, providing a delicious use for most of the unused egg whites, and they bring a dry, crunchy contrast to the creamy pudding and sauce. The berry coulis adds its wonderful fruity flavor, of course, but also brings dramatic color to the dish.
- 4 egg whites
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup ground blanched almonds
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup medium-grain white rice
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- Creamy Lime Crème Anglaise (link to recipe below)
- Chunky Mixed-Berry Coulis (link to recipe below)
To make the meringues:
- Heat the oven to 175F, or to as low a temperature as possible. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy and thick, about 2 minutes. On low speed, slowly add both sugars and the salt and continue beating until the whites are dense, glossy, and hold soft but definite peaks, another 1 to 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the cardamom, vanilla, and almonds just until combined.
- Using two small spoons, drop little mounds of the meringue onto the baking sheets, spacing them at least 1 inch apart. You can make the meringues any size you like, but smaller meringues bake faster–and they’re prettier.
- Bake the meringues until they are dry and crunchy on the outside and just a touch chewy on the inside, about 3 hours. Let them cool completely on their pans on racks. (The cooled meringues can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. They will soften slightly but will still taste good.)
To make the pudding:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, rice, and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Quickly reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer, then cook the rice, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes. The rice will not have absorbed all of the milk. Remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour the hot rice-milk mixture into the yolk-sugar mixture while stirring constantly to blend. Pour everything back into the saucepan, return to very low heat, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heat-resistant rubber spatula, until the pudding thickens a bit, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and pour the pudding into a clean bowl. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
- Put a scoop of the rice pudding on each dessert plate or in each small, shallow bowl. Spoon Creamy Lime Crème Anglaise around the base of each pudding, spoon Chunky Mixed-Berry Coulis over the top, and tuck a few meringues at the edge of each plate or bowl. Serve right away.
Reprinted with permission from Martha Holmberg’s Modern Sauces (Chronicle Books LLC, 2012)