saffron rice pudding

decorated with cinnamon, hickory nuts, and orange zest

I was so sure that this pudding was not going to work.

Yet, for the most part, my first rice pudding actually turned out. I simmered the pudding on the stove for an hour longer than Batmanglij suggested. It was not thickening. At all. I was more than a little nervous. The culprit may have been the brown basmati rice, which is fairly hard to break down. On the other hand, perhaps the pudding didn’t need to thicken so much on the stove, and would have done its major thickening in the refrigerator anyway. Not sure.

Regardless, it thickened up eventually. And we ended up with a cool, creamy, even refreshing little dessert. I don’t think of “refreshing” when I think of rice pudding. But then, I don’t think I’ve ever had rice pudding before last night.

This was my second time working with saffron. As far as I can tell so far, saffron has an extremely delicate flavor. It was pretty much crowded out by some of the bolder ingredients in the pudding. I am excited to continue working with this spice. Perhaps I should try it in something simpler next time. If anyone has experience with saffron, I would love to hear your stories!

I used some visiting family members as guinea pigs for this dessert. Apparently, raw pistachios are incredibly hard to find around my hometown, so I decorated the pudding with hickory nuts, a family favorite.

I have completed 23 of Batmanglij’s 268 recipes. Percentage complete: 8.58%

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