Cherry & Star Anise
This flavor had a very loyal following at the Farmers' Markets. These 2 ingredients blend beautifully to create a very unique taste that has a candi-ness quality to it. I usually use sweet pitted cherries for this recipe over sour cherries, which actually are my favorite. The only part of this recipe to be mindful of is that the star anise is added at the beginning, it's removed while blending the cherries and then added back in with the coconut milk. They can even be left in the pudding while it cools completely and removed after that.
There are only 5 ingredients in this recipe, so give it a try! You can easily jazz this fruit rice pudding up by adding orange liquor or serving it over an orange sorbet. It would also be great served in dried baked meringue shells with a whipped coconut milk or whipped cream over top. Too many variations are possible. Have fun with it!
What you will need:
2 medium pots with lids, a long metal spoon, a wire whisk (if you have one), a rubber spatula, a heat proof/food safe container with lid, an immersion or upright blender, a strainer that sits inside of a bowl, measuring cups or a kitchen scale (if you have one)
26 oz of whole pitted sweet cherries
15 oz Calrose medium grain rice
13 oz of sugar or organic sugar
1 + 10 oz coconut milk
2 whole star anise
Place the Calrose rice in the strainer that sits inside of a bowl. Place under running water and strain. Repeat 2 more times and set aside to drain.
In a medium sized pot place the rinsed and pitted whole cherries, 1 cup of water, 13 oz of sugar and the 2 whole star anise pods. Place over medium heat and bring to a medium boil. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and continue to cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
In the second medium sized pot place 32 oz of water and 1 oz coconut milk. Bring pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible and add the rinsed and drained Calrose rice. Stir to ensure that the rice isn't sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cover and set a timer for 20 minutes.
Once the cherries are cooked, remove the star anise from the pot and set aside. Using an immersion blender, blend the fruit sauce until smooth. Add the coconut milk and 10 oz of water. Return the 2 star anise to the pot and bring the mixture back to a medium boil, covered. Then, reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook until the Calrose rice is fully cooked.
After the rice has cooked for 20 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to continue to cook and to absorb more liquid for an additional 10 minutes. Keep pot covered. After the 10 minutes rest, empty the hot cooked Calrose rice into the hot cherry & star anise fruit sauce. Using a wire whisk, blend them together breaking up any clumps of cooked rice.
Empty the Cherry & Star Anise fruit rice pudding into a heat proof/food safe container and cover. Set on the counter or on a cooling rack to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Now, place it in the fridge to cool completely. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Or, you may choose to portion and package some of your rice pudding into food safe/freezer grade containers to enjoy at a later time. It will freeze for months.
Consult our How to Freeze & Thaw blog post for best results. Consult our Simply Fruit Rice Puddings: Basic Ingredients post and our Basic Cooking Techniques blog posts for more tips and tricks on making your very own fruit rice pudding. Enjoy!