TWD: Arborio Rice Pudding with Roasted Pears and Bourbon Caramel and Candied Pecans

(Isabelle of Les gourmandises d’Isa chose Dorie’s Arborio Rice Pudding. Please visit her blog for the recipe.)

Better late than never, right? I did actually make this on Tuesday, but only got around to posting it today.

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of rice pudding. Never have been. I like it in Indian restaurants if there isn’t Kulfi or Rose Ice Cream on the dessert menu. But that is all.

My husband loves rice pudding. I made this for him. My addition/indulgence was adding the roasted pears, Bourbon caramel, and candied pecans. Then I didn’t mind it so much. Actually, I would eat pretty much anything if it had Bourbon Caramel Sauce on it.

I doubled the amount of Arborio rice (the kind you use in risotto), and added a bit more milk than was called for in the recipe. I left the sugar about the same, maybe a few teaspoons more was all. I let it cook away for over an hour. It never thickened. No matter. My husband ate almost every last bit of it by himself.

Roasted Pears

4 firm pears, peeled and cored, cut into quarters (overly ripe pears will not work)
1/4-1/2 cup light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Lay the pears on the baking sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar. Place in the oven and roast for about 15 minutes, or until the pears have softened and turned golden.

Bourbon Caramel Sauce
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home To Yours)

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Bourbon (I used Wild Turkey)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the sugar evenly over the bottom of a large nonstick skillet. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and staying close by, cook until the sugar melts and starts to color. Once you see a little color, gently swirl the skillet so that the sugar colors evenly. Cook the sugar, without stirring, until it turns deep amber–almost mahogany. The sugar will bubble up and foam and soon it will start to smoke. It is very dramatic, and it might make you think you’ve gone too far, but you want a dark (though not burned black) color; the darker the sugar, the fuller the flavor. When the bubble shave gone from foamy to big and fat, you will probably have reached the right color. To check the color, drop a bit of the caramelized sugar on a white plate.

Lower the heat to medium, stand back and pour the cream into the skillet. The sugar will bubble and hiss and, if the cream was cold, it may even clump. Just continue to cook, stirring, and it will even out. Add the Bourbon and butter and cook just until the caramel is smooth. Pour the caramel into a heatproof pitcher or bowl and cool it for about 15 minutes.

Candied Pecans
from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

2 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place a piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a flat surface or baking sheet. (DO NOT USE WAXED PAPER!!! If you don’t have parchment or silicone, you can use a baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray.)

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter and add the sugar and nuts.

Cook while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts and turns a golden brown. (You may still see some sugar crystals that haven’t melted–it’s okay.)

Remove pan from heat and add vanilla extract. (It will bubble up.) Stir vigorously.

Turn the hot nuts out onto the prepared surface. Spread nuts out evenly. Cool completely before using or eating.

Next week’s choice is a Thanksgiving Twofer Pie (Pumpkin and Pecan) chosen by Vibi of La casserole carrée.

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  1. This is such a beautiful dish. I agree…bourbon caramel sauce would make anything taste good! The pears with vanilla ice cream might be good too-with the bourbon sauce, of course!(if you don’t like rice pudding)

    Jenny from Ky!

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