Classic Strawberry & Rhubarb in a Fruit Rice Pudding Recipe
This is a super easy recipe with only 5 ingredients! Few things signal the start of spring like Rhubarb shoots sprouting from the ground and the first white flowers on a strawberry plant. Could this be the reason that we love this sweet & spunky combination of flavours? Does it instill in us a sense of excitement and optimism? It doesn't really matter why we enjoy it so much. The fact is, that we do!
I, personally, am a huge rhubarb fan. It is one of my favourite fruits to work with. I must have experimented with well over 25 different rhubarb rice pudding combinations, if not more. And, I don't believe I have come close to exhausting it's possibilites. This is a full on fruity recipe. It isn't overly sweetened. The color is even more vibrant if you use fresh local strawberries but the flavour will be great even if you're using frozen strawberries and rhubarb. If you don't have access to fresh rhubarb, it is easy enough to find in Ottawa, in a chopped frozen format, all year long. Consult my Basic Ingredients post to see some local stores that supply it. As this recipe only uses about a half of a tin of coconut milk, you can easily whip the remaining coconut milk up with a touch of icing sugar. It is even better than freshly whipped cream. Or, use freshly whipped cream. Either way, you can't lose.
What you will need: 2 medium sized pots with lids, a cutting board and knife (if using fresh rhubarb), a metal or wooden spoon, a wire whisk (if you have one), measuring cups & spoons or a kitchen scale (if you have one), a heat proof/food grade container with lid, an immersion blender or upright blender, if you have one. If not, a potato masher will suffice.
24 oz strawberries, whole or chopped
17 oz chopped rhubarb
12 oz sugar
10 oz Calrose medium grain rice
1 + 5 oz coconut milk (regular tin is 14 oz)
Rinse and coarsely chop the strawberries and the rhubarb. Place them in a medium sized pot with 10 oz water and 12 oz sugar. Place them over a medium heat and bring to a boil. Once they boil, reduce the heat and continue to cook on a low simmer, covered.
Rinse and strain the Calrose medium grain rice in water. Repeat 2 more times and set aside to drain.
Once the rhubarb is fully cooked and breaking up easily, puree the fruit using an immersion blender or transfer the hot fruit to an upright blender and puree. If you don't have a blender, you could get away with using a potato masher to break the fruits down further.
To the fruit, add 5 oz of coconut milk, and 5 oz of water. Continue to cook on a low heat until it comes to a medium boil again. Reduce the heat and simmer on low, covered.
In the second pot, bring 12 oz of water and 1 oz of coconut milk to a boil. Once boiling, add the rinsed and drained rice. Stir the rice to ensure that it isn't sticking to the bottom of the pot. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Cover the pot. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
After the 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let the rice continue to cook and absorb more liquid for another 10 minutes, covered.
After the 10 minutes rest, mix the cooked rice into the fruit sauce. Incorporate the rice well using a wire whisk to break up any clumps of cooked rice. Let the whole pudding come back to a medium boil then turn off the heat.
Pour the hot strawberry & rhubarb rice pudding into a heat proof/food grade container and cover. Allow it to cool on the counter or on a cooling rack for 15 to 20 minutes.
You can now serve yourself up a hot bowl of rice pudding or place it in the fridge to cool completely. It will keep for up to 2 weeks, covered, in the fridge. Or, you can portion and package the pudding into smaller freezer grade containers and freeze it for up to a few months, to enjoy at a later time.