For the past two months, I have been completely obsessed with rice pudding from the store across the street from our house. Actually, I have been also obsessed with the store itself. Not only is it right across the street, but during the week it is open till midnight and on Sundays it is open till 8pm. This is a big deal, you see, since I live in Germany, a country which is currently at war with consumerism. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that all stores, even grocery stores, are closed on Sundays. So if you run out of butter or milk or coffee, or any necessity really, you’re in a big doodoo. I begrudgingly started accepting the doodooesque Sundays, when something wonderful happened: a store called Frischwerk opened. The opening of Frischwerk, which, I’m not sure if I already mentioned it, is right across the street from our house (!), was a big event for me. In fact, it was one of the best things to have happened to me since my arrival in this country. And then, something even better happened. I discovered their rice pudding… creamy, perfectly balanced, with a hint of cinnamon and just enough sweetness, in short, heavenly, addictive stuff that inspired me to cook something equally divine at home. Now, I often have a feeling that when I describe particular dishes on this blog, I make them sound super easy, and for the most part they are easy to cook. Sometimes, however, I tackle a dish that gives me trouble. I make it and remake it and make it again, till it looks and tastes just as I want it to. Such was the case with the deceptively simple rice pudding (how can something with only three ingredients give one so much trouble?) At first I cooked it according to the recipe in the Andalusia book, the same book I once contemplated stealing from my parents-in-law. My first reaction upon trying the pudding was: Holy cow, do these Andalusians have a sweet tooth! I tried it again with much less sugar, but then I didn’t like the consistency, as it was supposed to be finished off with whipped egg yolks (and more sugar) and it turned into a sickly sweet and weirdly sticky mess (this was even before stirring in whipped cream, as recommended). Finally, when I almost gave up on making my perfect rice pudding, I came across a rice pudding recipe in a Polish cook book that my mom gave me for Christmas. I combined it with the other recipe and what came out was pretty damn good, not quite as good as the original, but I will keep on trying.
100g (3.5 oz) Arborio rice
500ml (2 cups) full fat milk
80g (2.8 oz) roasted almond slices
75g (2.6 oz) sugar
Wash the rice in a sieve. Warm up the milk, add sugar and rice and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for the next 30-40 minutes, while stirring every once in a while (especially at the beginning and towards the end). In the meantime, roast the almond slices on a pan through heating them up and stirring till they’re nicely browned. Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to glasses, layering it with roasted almonds. Let cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.
Servings: 4 (about 290 kcal/serving)
Adapted from: Andalusien: Küche und Kultur. Für die Sinne by Margit Kunzke and The Cuisine of the Teutonic Grand Masters in Malbork Castle (awesome cook book title, whoever came up with it)