Rich, decadent and delicious almond rice pudding - made with almond milk. This is a dairy-free dessert that is sweetened with caramel sauce. Great to serve with fruit & chopped nuts.
I LOVE making rice pudding because is creamy, rich and delicious. It is one of my comfort foods that reminds me of my childhood and my mom's cooking.
So here's something to think about - 'Why do People love cooking?' Katie Holmes at Outwit Trade has a fun piece about that. Do check that article out.
Here's why I love to cook, 'Cooking is therapeutic to me. I love all the aspects involved in it from chopping to cooking to cleaning. The big bonus is feeding delicious food to my loved ones and when they appreciate the effort then that's icing on the cake'.
I saw this caramel rice pudding recipe at Epicurious, it sounded absolutely delicious. But I was initially skeptical to try because I feared it was going to be too too sweet.
I made a few tweaks to the recipe to suit the ingredients I had on hand. AND it was probably the best rice pudding I ever made.
Rice puddings made in the US usually have eggs in them to add creaminess. In contrast, Indian kheers and payasams are completely egg-free. So I never add eggs to these sweet preparations.
There are 2 main ingredients in any rice pudding - rice and milk. Choice of these ingredients is key in getting a creamy or not-so-creamy pudding.
Rice - Any long grain or short grain white rice would work in this recipe. Basmati, jasmine, arborio are excellent choices. I used Jasmine rice, which is slightly sticky and soft when cooked, to get a creamy pudding.
Article for 'How to make rice pudding' by Fine cooking has good information on the different rice that can be used and how that affects the texture of the pudding.
Milk - Since I was making almond rice pudding, I used almond milk. But this dish can be made with any dairy or non-dairy milk.
If using dairy milk, then use 2% or whole milk for the best texture.
Unsweetened oat milk is another great non-dairy milk that I use to make this dessert. But then, it would not be almond milk rice pudding.
The highlight of the dish however is the caramel sauce. It adds a nice intense flavor to the dish without being too sweet.
Vanilla pod adds tons of flavor to this dessert.
I reduced the sugar in the original recipe and stirred in the homemade caramel sauce that the very end.
When cooked in milk, rice takes a lot of time to cook and get tender. To expedite that process, rice is cooked in boiling water for a very short time - about 2~3 minutes. This gives a head start to the cooking process and makes the grains easily absorb the milk.
So start by boiling some water in a medium size saucepan. Add the rice and cook for just 2~3 minutes. Remove from heat, drain the rice and set aside.
In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine almond milk, salt, vanilla pod and seeds. Bring the milk to a gentle simmer.
Stir in the rice, cover and simmer for 25~35 minutes. Stirring occasionally to make sure that the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook till the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Remove the vanilla pod. Add 2~3tbsp salted caramel sauce. Stir well and let cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with chopped nuts - almonds and pistachios would be great. Top with seasonal fruit and ENJOY!!
Then served it at room temperature with some strawberries and it tasted amazing. My daughter couldn't stop eating the pudding.
Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Eat it chilled with chopped mango or other fruit for a terrific breakfast. Do try this recipe if you are a rice pudding fan, I'm sure you'll LOVE it just as I did.
Few more Milk based desserts
Here are few more milk based desserts that you might like:
- Syrian rice pudding - flavored with rose essence, this is a delicious Middle Eastern dessert that is sure to please everyone.
- Vegan Semya Kheer - this is my vegan take on traditional Indian dessert.
- Wheat Payasam - whole grain version made with cracked wheat (fine bulgur).
Almond Rice Pudding with Caramel Sauce
- ½ cup White Rice*
- 2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 3 tablespoons Sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- ½ pod Vanilla
- 2 ~ 3 tablespoons Caramel Sauce (homemade or store bought), plus more for serving
- As needed Strawberries, Mango, chopped or any other fruit, for serving
- As needed Nuts, chopped, for serving
- In a small saucepan, bring 1½cups of water to a boil, add the rice and cook for 2~3 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.
- Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds.
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine milk, salt, vanilla pod and seeds. Bring the milk to a gentle simmer.
- Stir in the rice, cover and simmer for 25~35 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure that the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook till the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Remove the vanilla pod. Add 2~3tbsp salted caramel sauce. Stir well and let cool.
- Divide the rice pudding between serving bowls and pass more caramel sauce on the side. Serve with fresh fruit and chopped nuts on top.
- Basmati, Jasmine or Arborio rice are good options, but any white rice would work here.
- Any other dairy or non-dairy milk - but then it won't be almond rice pudding, of course.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.