It sure doesn't feel like Spring here in the Midwest. Since the temperatures are still freezing and chilly, I find myself still craving wintry types of food that are warming + comforting. One of my new favorite comfort recipes would definitely have to be the Arroz con Leche recipe that I shared back in December. I didn't grow up getting rice pudding, but now I cannot get enough of this stuff. Since it is officially Spring,even though it doesn't feel like it, I thought that I would take my Arroz con Leche recipe and put a Spring twist on it.
During the Spring, I love adding lemon zest + juice to recipes to brighten them up. Lemon rind is added to the rice as it cooks. By cooking the rind with the rice, it adds tons of bright, citrusy lemon flavor to the pudding. To amp of the flavor even more, pure vanilla extract is added in at the end along with some lemon zest. When I cook with zest + the rind of citrus fruits, I try and buy organic whenever I possibly can.
This rice pudding can be made in advance. Simply reheat on the stove. The pudding does thicken up quite a bit as it cools and sits overnight. Add in a splash of almond or soy milk when you reheat the pudding. If you like dried fruit with your rice pudding, dried cherries are really delicious in the pudding. When I had some of the leftover rice pudding, I added in some dried Michigan cherries and it was really delicious.
- ¾ Cup Raw Cashews
- ½ Cup Water
- 1 Cup Short Grain White Rice
- 2 Cups Water
- 3 Cups Almond or Soy Milk
- ¼ Tsp Sea Salt
- 2-4 Long Strips Lemon Rind
- ⅓ Cup Sugar
- 1-2 Tsp Lemon Zest
- 1 ½ Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- Soak the cashews in water for at least 2 hours. Drain the cashews and transfer to a blender. Add the ½ cup of water and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat a large saucepan or pot over medium heat and add the rice and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook until most of the water has evaporated, stir often, about 5 minutes.
- When most of the water has evaporated, add the almond or soy milk, sea salt, lemon rind, and the blended cashew cream. Bring a boil over medium heat, add in the sugar. Reduce to a low simmer.
- Stir the rice often, making sure that the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the rice is tender, about 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and take out the lemon rind. Stir in the lemon zest and vanilla. Taste and adjust seasons. Add in more lemon zest for a more pronounced lemon flavor.
- Taste and adjust seasons. Add in more lemon zest for a more pronounced lemon flavor.