» Where foreign and local combine

Pairing Rice


Autumn is not a season I look forward to at all, in fact, I view it in the same bittersweet way as that hour before the sun sets for the day. I’m sad it’s over, that once again it has come around quickly and the ‘night’ of winter is about to come knocking at the door.

It’s not a season I have much appreciation for, nor the produce available in the grocery store, all stacked up perfectly waiting for us to reach out and grab. Even when we lived in a house during my early teens with a heavy laden pear tree hanging over our fence. The elderly owners of the tree allowed us to pick as many as we could and somehow I always grumbled that it wasn’t a better fruit tree for the picking.

Yet, today’s recipe is all about the beauty of the pear, a fruit I have come to appreciate almost as much as it’s cousin the apple. It’s sweet flesh pairs perfectly with the vanilla creamed rice and everyone at the table enjoyed this for dessert.

You can eat this for breakfast or dessert or if you really like this you can have it for both (no ones watching so go ahead). I’d also love to hear how you enjoy pear in the fall?

Orange Infused Creamed Rice with Caramelized Pears
Serves 6

1 cup arborio/risotto rice
1/2 peel from orange
1/4 vanilla bean, sliced open
1/2 cup light cane or superfine sugar
2 cups water
2 cups milk
2 pears, halved and cored
1 tablespoon butter, soft
1/4 cup brown sugar

Place the rice, orange peel, vanilla bean and water in a saucepan and cook on medium  heat for 15 minutes, if it needs fluid begin adding half the milk.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 120°C/250F. Place each pear half on a paper towel to dry out them out and spread the softened butter over the halves. Then spoon the brown sugar over the butter and press down softly to ensure the sugar sticks to the butter and pears.

Lay the pears sugar side down on a baking tray, repeat with the remaining pear halves.

Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until caramelized.

When the rice is almost cooked, add all the milk and sugar and remove the orange peel and vanilla bean. Continue cooking on low to medium until the milk has reduced by half. You want the mixture to be quite creamy.

Place the creamed rice in a bowl. Remove the caramelized pears from the oven and slice into four pieces placing on top of the creamed rice.

Serve while warm.

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