Serves 6 to 8
In Italy, we owe a lot to convents and monasteries for preserving culinary and beverage customs. Here is a recipe as the nuns in the convent made it. Rice pudding is a favorite comfort food. In this recipe, apples are added to the cooked rice, then all is baked. My mouth waters just thinking about it.
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 2½ cups whole milk
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 Golden Delicious or other baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 cup raisins
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ lightly packed cup brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, 2 cups of the milk, the salt, and ½ cup of the sugar. Simmer until all of the milk is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 13 minutes. Stir in the butter until melted. Let cool slightly.
In another medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the apples, raisins, lemon zest and juice, and remaining ½ cup of sugar. Stir until the sugar is melted, then simmer until the apples release their juices and just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the rice and apple mixtures. Whisk together the remaining ½ cup of milk and the eggs. Pour this over the rice and apples, and mix well. Spread in a 2-to-3-quart baking dish, and bake for 15 minutes. Then sprinkle with the brown sugar, and continue baking until it’s set and the top is caramelized, about 15 minutes more. Let cool slightly, but serve warm.