Orange, Fig & Honey. Oh, my!


This is a great flavour for people that love a little more texture and crunch in their fruit rice pudding. I usually use dried figs for this recipe but you can substitute fresh if you have nice rice ones available. The dried ones are even sweeter than the fresh so, if reduces the amount of added sugars. Since the honey is one of the Stars of this flavour, I always go for the best that I can find. If you like, source out a great quality wildflower honey from one of your local Farmers' Markets. If you live in Ottawa, McCaigs's Wildflower Honey is one of my favorite go tos, but regular honey will work well too. It just won't have all of the complexity and interest of flavour that a good quality wildflower honey does. As far as the 'orange' element in this flavour, when I started out making my rice puddings, I always used fresh squeezed orange juice in my flavours. As time went on, I found that the intensity of flavour and sweetness, of the fresh juice, was very inconsistent. Also, I didn't like having to deal with all of the added liquid content. I switched to using a pure frozen unsweetened concentrated orange juice for my flavours (Minute Maid Original is my usual go to). The taste and sweetness are more consistent, I don't have a ton of extra liquid to manage, and I can keep a frozen supply in the freezer for whenever I needed it. It is also more cost effective than buying fresh oranges and you don't have to try to guess how juicy they are or how much orange juice they will render. You don't require any special equipment for this recipe.

What you will need:

A cutting board and knife for figs, 2 medium sized pots with lids, a wire whisk (if you have one), measuring cups & spoons or kitchen scales (if you have one), a heat proof/food safe container, rubber spatula, a strainer that fits in a bowl


Ingredients:

1 + 13 oz coconut milk (14 oz in regular size can)

14 oz Calrose medium grain rice

9 oz of wildflower honey

7 oz of whole dried figs, chopped

4.5 oz pure frozen concentrated unsweetened orange juice

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon


Directions:

  1. Rinse the Calrose rice in water and strain. Repeat 2 more times. Set aside to drain.

  2. Soak the chopped dry figs in 1/2 cup of warm water. Set aside.

  3. Remove 1 oz of coconut milk from the can. Set aside.

  4. In a medium sized pot place 13 oz (the remainder of the can) of coconut milk, fill the empty can with water and add that to the pot. Add the soaked figs & liquid. Bring the pot to a medium boil, covered.

  5. In the second medium sized pot place 32 oz of water and the 1 oz of reserved coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Add the rinsed and drained Calrose rice. Stir to ensure that the rice isn't stuck to the bottom. Turn the heat to it's lowest setting. Cover the pot. Set a timer for 20 minutes.

  6. Once the fig & coconut milk mixture has come to a boil, add the wild flower honey, the frozen concentrate orange juice and the ground cinnamon. Allow the pot to come back to a medium boil, covered.

  7. Once the rice has cooked for the 20 minutes. Turn off the heat. Keep it covered and allow the rice to continue to cook and absorb liquid for another 10 minutes.

  8. Once the fruit sauce has come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Keep covered.

  9. After the 10 minutes rest time, add the hot cooked rice to the fruit sauce. Incorporate well using a wire whisk until the rice clumps have all been broken down. Allow the Orange Fig & Honey fruit rice pudding to come back to a medium boil. Then turn off the heat. If, at this point, you find that the pudding is very thick in consistency, add HOT water, in 1/4 cup increments, until it has a more 'pudding like' consistency. Working with dried fruits you need to adjust for the consistency because they tend to absorb more liquid as they cool and rest in the fridge.

  10. Pour the hot rice pudding into a heat proof/food safe container and allow it to cool, covered, on the counter or a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

  11. You can now enjoy a delicious bowl of hot rice pudding, maybe with a good French Vanilla ice cream on top, or you can refrigerate the fruit rice pudding. If you find that the pudding is still too thick, once it has cooled, you can still add COLD water to it, and incorporate well. It will keep in the fridge, covered for up to 2 weeks. Or, you can portion and package the rice pudding into freezer grade containers and freeze it, to enjoy at a later date. The pudding will keep in the freezer for a few months.

  12. Consult our How to Freeze & Thaw post for best results. Consult our Simply Fruit Rice Puddings Basic Ingredients post and our Basic Techniques post for tips and tricks on making your own fruit rice pudding. Enjoy!



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