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Rhubarb Rice Pudding

(recipe, Sophie Dahl)

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I used to pick rhubarb in my granny Gee-Gee's garden when I was about seven, with a bowl of sugar clutched in my fat little hand. The trick was to lick the rhubarb, dip it in the sugar, and crunch away. I would always do it in excess, which was a surefire way to aching guts, and Gee-Gee clucking over me with some milk of magnesia. Prepared this way, you have all the joy without the pain, and if you have access to a bumper crop, follow Mrs. Beeton's example and make some jam.


    For the pudding
    1. 4 cups (1 liter) milk, plus more as needed
    2. ¾ cup (150 grams) basmati rice
    3. 1 cinnamon stick
    4. ¼ cup (80 grams) agave nectar or honey
    5. 1 tsp. orange-flower water
    For the rhubarb
    1. 12 oz. (350 grams) rhubarb, cut into 1-inch lengths
    2. ½ cup (125 milliliters) water
    3. 1 star anise
    4. 1 tsp. rose water
    5. 2 Tbsp. agave nectar or honey


    1. Make the rice pudding: Pour the milk and rice into a medium saucepan, add the cinnamon stick, bring to a boil, and then simmer over very low heat, stirring frequently, for around 30 minutes. At this point, stir in the agave or honey and orange-flower water and cook another 5 to 10 minutes, adding more milk if the pudding starts looking dry.
    2. Make the rhubarb: In a separate heavy-bottomed saucepan, place the rhubarb, water, star anise, rose water, and agave or honey. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for about 10 minutes, turning once or twice, until you have lovely tender pink softness.
    3. Assemble and serve the pudding: Plate the rice pudding and swirl the rhubarb through.