This is a far cry from the standard rice pudding. It is served warm and has a soufflé-like texture, and fresh cherries give it a distinction that the familiar raisins in common rice puddings lack. Other fruits can be substituted for the cherries: Austrians love this with sliced apples, but berries are excellent, too. The pudding can be served by itself, or with a pitcher of Vanilla Sauce or room-temperature heavy cream for pouring on top.
Because of their shared border with Italy, Austrians cook most often with Italian medium-grain rice, which has more starch than our popular long-grain rice and gives the pudding its special creaminess. Be sure to use Arborio rice or another variety that is appropriate for risotto. Other possibilities include Vialone Nano, Car-naroli, Baldo, Spanish Valencia rice, or even a supermarket medium-grain brand, such as Goya, which can be found in the Latino section of the market.
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