Creamy Rice Pudding with Orange and Butter Toasted Almonds
- 3 oranges (2 to zest and segment and 1 to use for orange crisps*)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and scraped with the back of a knife to loosen the seeds (or 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract)
- ½ cup Arborio rice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup cream, whipped to semifirm peaks
*I find the easiest way to segment an orange is to remove the top and bottom of the orange using a serrated knife, Stand it on a cutting board, and use a downward motion to follow the contour of the fruit to remove both skin and pith (the white part). Segment each orange fillet, separating the flesh with a small paring knife.
- Preheat the oven to 210°f (100°c).
- Thinly slice 1 orange (matchstick thin) with a sharp knife, then lay the slices out on a baking sheet lined with Parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the oven and leave it there for 1 hour. Remove and set these “orange crisps” aside (these will stay fresh in an airtight container for several days.)
- Bring the milk, the scraped vanilla bean, and the orange zest to a boil in a pot. Add the rice, lower the Temperature, and cook, stirring it occasionally, for up to 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
- In the meantime, heat the butter in a saucepan until it starts to foam; add the almonds and stir them with a Wooden spoon until the nuts take on a lovely golden blush. Remove them from the heat and strain away the Excess butter; set the almonds onto a paper towels to drain.
- When the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the milk, mix in the sugar, along with a pinch of salt. Remove it from the saucepan and allow it to cool.
- Just before serving, fold in the lightly whipped cream, the cooled almonds, and the fresh orange segments.
- Serve the pudding in individual bowls and top with orange crisps.
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