What is more comforting than this warm baked lemon and cardamom vegan rice pudding with swirls of berry jam in winter or on a rainy day? We had thunderstorms and rain all day on Monday this week. And I have been dreaming about rice pudding and luckily I had some Arboria (Risotto rice) in my pantry. I found inspiration for this recipe from sugarsaltmagic.com.
When we lived in the UK I made it often but these days Risotto is not normally part of my pantry because it is more pricey than rice. But I used some when we tested recipes for our Plant-based meal plan guide. So had some to use. But other short-grain rice could also be used. It should work with Jasmine or Basmati rice but I have not tested it. I do think it will use less liquid though.
Why should you make this dessert?
It is quick to prepare
It is dairy and gluten-free
It takes only 5 minutes to prepare without cooking time
It is creamy and cosy
Two flavours that absolutely belong together especially in rice pudding is cardamom seeds and lemon zest. It just works, I also had a jar of Berry Chia Jam in the fridge and could already taste the tangy juicy berries with the creamy rice pudding. I also wanted to make it dairy-free so it can be a vegan recipe but also for people who have allergies, so I added coconut milk instead of cream and milk. So this makes the dessert dairy and gluten-free and very low in sugar.
You could use any jam to swirl through the rice pudding but I prefer this Berry Chia Jam because it is low in sugar and full of anti-oxidants.
How to serve rice pudding?
To finish it off, only flaked almonds could do the trick. They have to be toasted though. It makes all the difference. Serve the rice pudding with an extra dollop of yoghurt and berry jam and some extra fresh berries if you have some on hand.
The variations are endless but here are a few suggestions
Replace the coconut milk with cream or milk. The ratio does not really matter as long as you add about 3.5 cups of liquid. Adding more cream or coconut milk will make it creamier.
Add vanilla seeds instead of extract
Replace the rice with another short-grain rice, I have not tested the recipe with another rice but it should work but might need less liquid.
Other flavour combinations:
Nutmeg, cinnamon, orange zest and raisans
Make chocolate rice pudding by adding a 1/4 cup of cocoa and an extra half cup of milk.
Add all the ingredients except the flaked almonds and berry chia jam.
Stir the ingredients and place in the oven for 50 minutes. Stir after 20 minutes.
In the last 20 minutes add swirls of berry chia jam and the flaked almonds.
Cook until the rice grains are soft. This will all depend on your oven. But the idea is that the rice pudding should be creamy. So if all the liquid has cooked away before the grains are soft, add a little more liquid.
Serve with extra berry chia jam, fresh berries and yogurt.