Baking with B: Classic Rice Pudding with Fresh Raspberries

If any of you follow me and the saga of my porch garden on Instagram you’ll know that I have a couple of raspberry plants that over the summer have produced the occasional fruit. (To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations to begin with so I was happy I got any berries at all.)

Well, wouldn’t you know, mere days before October arrives, these little plants decide to wake up and grow raspberries like there’s no tomorrow. They’re pretty teensy and tart, but there’s a fresh crop coming out each day. However, I still didn’t have quite enough to bake with so I had to rack my brain to figure out what I could do with them.

Enter rice pudding: one of the greatest desserts to make when you have practically nothing in your pantry and you’re craving something sweet. It’s creamy with a hint of vanilla and it’s the perfect delivery method for sweet-tart raspberries (although really, I think any fruit will do).

Oh, and did I mention it’s actually pretty easy to make? See what I mean for yourself…

Classic Rice Pudding with Fresh Raspberries (makes approx. 4 servings)

(loosely based on the recipe found here)

3/4 c. uncooked white rice (short or medium grain is best)

2 c. milk

2 tbsp vanilla custard powder

1/3 c. white sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp butter

raspberries, to taste (or fruit of your choice)

Note: I used vanilla custard powder in this recipe because it gave me such a rich, creamy vanilla flavor. The original recipe suggests adding 1/2 tsp vanilla extract at the very end, which is perhaps a little more traditional than my method.

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 c. of water to boil. Add rice and let simmer on low, covered for approximately 20 minutes.

Whisk custard powder in with milk until dissolved. In a separate saucepan, bring 1 1/2 c. of milk to a slow boil, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding. Add in cooked rice and sugar, stirring to combine. Let simmer on low for 15-20 minutes until texture becomes quite thick.

B’s Tip: I suggest adding the sugar last to your mixture because I added it first while the milk is still heating up. That’s ok, too, but if you’re not watching it (and I wasn’t) the sugar will end up caramelizing and burning at the bottom of your pan, making it hotter than you really want it to be. On the bright side, I ended up with all these really delicious flakes of burnt sugar scattered throughout my pudding. It was a lemons-into-lemonade kind of situation.

Stir in remaining 1/2 c. milk (you may want to give it a slight whisk beforehand) and beaten egg. Stir to combine and let cook for two minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Let pudding sit for 10 minutes before serving. Scatter with raspberries (or fruit of your choice.

Rice pudding can be served hot or cold, but I prefer it slightly warm because that’s when the texture feels just right. (So creamy! So vanilla-y!) If you’re not a fan of rice pudding because all you’ve had is the gelatinous, cold stuff from the grocery store, I ask you to try this recipe and reconsider. It may have a reputation as a dessert for the elderly, but I think you’ll find it’s actually delicious for all ages.

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears (usually) every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Blueberry, Lemon and Coconut Trifle

Let’s ease back into this baking thing a little bit, shall we? It’s been a while. I know trifle isn’t exactly “baking” in the traditional sense, but I wanted to share this with you because I made it not once, but twice in the last few weeks. Yes, it was that good.

The best thing about trifle is that you can’t really screw it up. Everyone has their own version, and it doesn’t always turn out the same way every time. Basically each trifle is made up of similar building blocks (cake, fruit, custard, whipped cream) but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. I happen to think that this blueberry-lemon-coconut combo is a fresh and modern take on this traditional dessert. (Plus, I love anything blueberry-lemon flavor.)

Put some time aside for this one: even though it’s a snap to make, assembling the layers requires work, plus you want this baby to chill in the fridge for at least four hours to get everything all blended, gooey and good. Don’t let that put you off- your patience will be rewarded in the form of this awesome dessert.

Blueberry, Lemon and Coconut Trifle (makes about 14 c.)

10 1/2 oz. pound cake (thaw if using frozen)

1 can lemon pie filling (19 oz. or about 540 mL)

1 1/4 c. flaked coconut

2 c. frozen blueberries

3 c. whipped cream

In a large frying pan, toast coconut over medium heat, stirring constantly until lightly golden. Remove from heat and put 1/4 c. aside. Mix the remaining coconut in a small bowl with the lemon pie filling.

Cut the pound cake into approx. 1″ cubes. Arrange half into the bottom of an extra-large glass bowl (or in my case, an enormous jar I had lying around the house), and set the other half aside. Next, take half of your pie filling, and spread over your cake layer evenly. Create the next layer by sprinkling the pie filling with blueberries. Spoon whipped cream over blueberries until covered. Lay down another cake layer, followed by another pie filling layer, followed by the remaining whipped cream. Sprinkle with reserved coconut. Chill in the fridge, covered, for at least 4 hours.

B’s Tip: You can substitute whipped cream for your favorite brand of frozen whipped topping, but be sure to thaw it first before using it in the trifle.

And because this dessert knows no bounds, I urge you to modify the recipe however you like- I know I have! So far I’ve used less coconut in the filling and sprinkled more on top (pretty!); I’ve bought whipped cream, and I’ve whipped my own (store-bought is sweeter!); and I’ve even used different types of blueberries (wild ones have way more flavor!)

What’s in your trifle?!

B

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Andi’s Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Biscotti

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Andi is a neighbor of mine and one of the people that I admire most in this world: she carries herself with such poise and grace that it almost makes me envy her; and you’d hate her for how smart, beautiful and accomplished she is except that she’s so kind-hearted you kind of have to love her anyways.

So when I was making my neighbors some goody bags for Christmas, I felt badly for excluding Andi because of her gluten-free diet. She’s always lamenting that she never gets to try any of the things that I make, so I decided it was time to make her something of her own.

Having not ever made biscotti before-combined with being unfamiliar with many of the GF flours out there- made me a little bit nervous. The results were golden and a little bit spicy, but for some reason retained a slightly chewy texture in the middle that was decidedly delicious, but decidedly un-biscotti like. (Psst. Here’s the part where you email me with your gluten-free, biscotti-making advice.)

Still, I liked them enough to try them again and include them in my baking repertoire. The almond flour gives it an even nuttier flavor that’s not too sweet, and it goes perfectly with a strong Italian espresso.

Andi’s Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Biscotti (makes 12)

(based on a recipe I originally found here)

2 large eggs

1/3 c. honey

zest from one orange

1 1/2 c. almond flour

2 tbsp arrowroot flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 c. dried cranberries

1/2 almonds, sliced

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, honey and orange zest and beat until frothy. Add flours, baking soda and sea salt to the bowl and mix until a dough forms. Add cranberries and almonds and stir to combine.

Spoon out dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and use fingers to shape it into a long rectangle, approximately 4×12 inches. (B’s Tip: The dough will be sticky, gooey and hard to manipulate so you can always use the back of a spoon that’s been dipped in cold water to help shape your rectangle.) Make sure to leave room on all sides as the dough will spread as it cooks.

Bake dough in oven that’s been preheated to 350F for approximately 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 hour. Once cooled, slice your log on a diagonal to get those long, angular biscotti shapes (about 1″ thick). Lay biscotti on their sides and return to oven for an additional 15-20 minutes until crunchy.

B’s Tip: Believe me, it’s hard to wait for the biscotti to cool before slicing them but trust me- they’re much easier to slice if you do and they need that drying-out time to get that crunchy consistency. Make the process go faster by placing your cookie tray on a raised cooling rack to get the air flowing underneath it, and keep them far away from your warm oven!

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-Flower-50Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.