But the humble rice pudding has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in recent years (see also classic puddings such as the roly-poly and treacle sponge). And it's been spruced up too. There are chocolate versions, boozy varieties and, for pure indulgence, extra, extra creamy puds. A world away from the noisy, boisterous, cabbage-smelling school canteen.
Adding to the mix is this seasonal version: Roasted Rhubarb Rice Pudding with Orange Shortbread. A thick, creamy, comforting rice pudding is served with tart, roasted rhubarb and melt in the mouth orange shortbread biscuits.
Roasted Rhubarb Rice Pudding with Orange Shortbread
For the Shortbread Biscuits (makes 25-30 mini star shaped biscuits):
250g softened butter
100g caster sugar
Zest of 1 orange
250g plain flour
For the rhubarb:
1tbsp light brown sugar
Juice of 1 orange
For the Rice Pudding:
100g pudding rice
1 litre full cream milk
1 vanilla pod
1 tbsp caster sugar
50-100mls double cream (optional)
Zest of an orange to serve
For the Shortbread Biscuits:
1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/340ºF/Gas Mark 3.5 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment
2. Beat together the butter, zest and sugar until light and fluffy then sift in the flour and cornflour gradually, mixing between each addition. Using you hands, gently bring the dough together, kneading briefly until smooth
3. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the refrigerator for thirty minutes
4. On a floured board, roll out the dough to 5–6mm thick and cut into star shapes.
5. Transfer the shortbreads to the prepared baking sheets lined and bake for 15–20 minutes until golden. Cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
For the rhubarb:
1. Trim and cut the rhubarb into 2.5cm/1inch chunks. Place in an oven proof dish, sprinkle over the sugar and orange juice and cover with foil. Roast for 20-30 minutes at 170ºC/340ºF/Gas Mark 3.5 or until tender, softened but still in shape
For the Rice Pudding and to serve:
1. Put the rice, milk, scored vanilla pod and sugar in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, stir together and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for twenty to thirty minutes, stirring regularly until the rice is thick and creamy. Add the cream if using for that extra luxurious taste
2. Divide the rice pudding between four serving bowls. Serve with the roasted rhubarb and any leftover juice, the biscuits and sprinkle with the zest of an orange if using
- Make the shortbread biscuits first, then pop the rhubarb into roast while making the rice pudding
- These are very, very crumbly traditional shortbread biscuits. You'll have plenty leftover to enjoy the following day with your morning coffee