Warm Rice Pudding with Cherries

Reisauflauf Mit Kirschen

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    4 to 6

    servings

Appears in

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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Ingredients

  • Softened butter and dried bread crumbs, for the dish
  • cups milk, or more as needed
  • cup (5 ounces) rice for risotto
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 8 ounces fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Method

  1. Combine the milk, rice, and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often to discourage the milk from boiling over. Reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer, uncovered, stirring often to avoid scorching, until the rice is tender and most of the milk has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. Don’t simmer the rice too quickly or it will absorb the milk before it becomes tender. If necessary, add cup milk to the rice; the final rice-milk mixture should be slightly loose. Remove from the heat and add the butter, vanilla, and lemon zest. Stir to melt the butter.
  2. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Butter an 11½ X 8-inch glass baking dish, dust with dried bread crumbs, and tap out the excess crumbs.
  3. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with a handheld electric mixer until soft peaks form, then gradually add cup of the sugar and beat until the mixture forms stiff, shiny peaks.
  4. In another medium bowl with the mixer on high speed, beat the egg yolks and the remaining cup of sugar until they are thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Gradually stir the hot rice mixture into the yolks. Stir in one fourth of the whites to lighten the mixture, then fold in the remaining whites.
  5. Spread half of the rice into the pan. Sprinkle with the cherries and spread with the remaining rice. Bake until the pudding is puffed and golden brown and the center feels set when pressed, about 30 minutes. Dust the top of the pudding with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.

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