Baked Kheer

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Yes it’s definitely autumn here in London. Blustery (love that word), rainy, chilly and damp. As ever in London, it seems autumn always creeps up on us – one moment we’re in jersey tops and jeans…and then we’re in jackets and jersey tops and jeans and our shoes are never quite dry. Crazy. And honestly, this isn’t salads and hummus weather. This is yummy baked pudding weather. Now – as a preface – we’ve never actually baked a rice pudding before but we thought we’d try it as it looks delicious and more importantly, easy. And of course during the process we had to add a little bit of this and a little bit of that – and before we knew it, we ended up with kheer (though minus the nuts and dried fruit). But rice pudding is nostalgic food and for us, rice pudding isn’t right without a few spices.

(And incidentally, Hindus were very recently celebrating the festival of Navratri, and Diwali is just around the corner, and so this kheer recipe is right on time.)

So what’s the difference between baked and stovetop rice pudding? Well it’s a bit drier, stodgier and forms a “skin” (which you can put “to the side” if you dislike it as much as we do!) – so when you eat it, it feels like really comforting hug from inside. And we made a little plum compote on the side – kind of like the jam you may have had with the pudding when you were little. Mmmm!

Serves 4

Rice pudding

2 tsp butter to grease
1 pint (568ml) whole milk
100g pudding rice
4 tbsp dessicated coconut
4 tbsp muscavado sugar
1/2 tsp almond essence
1 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of ground nutmeg
4 drops cardamom essence

Plum compote

4 very ripe plums, pitted and chopped
2 tsp sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C (fan-assisted). Grease a 10 inch (or similar) baking dish with the butter. (Don’t worry if there is a lot of butter left, just add it all to the dish!)
  2. Add the milk, rice, coconut, sugar, almond essence, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom essence to the dish. Stir the ingredients carefully so that they are fully incorporated.
  3. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. You can also test a rice kernel to see if it is fully cooked through just in case. (We stirred the pudding halfway through cooking because we hate pudding skin! You can leave the pudding unstirred if you like skin. Bleurgh).
  4. In the meantime, make the compote. In a non-stick pan, add the plums and sugar.
  5. Cook the plums on medium heat, stirring regularly and breaking up the plums using a wooden spoon.  After about 5 minutes and when the compote looks thick – like a loose jam, take the pan off the heat.
  6. Take the pudding out of the oven and serve with the compote. Enjoy immediately when it’s cold and rainy outside!

So what do you think? Feel free to share your questions and comments below! We’d love to hear what you have to say.

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