Sour Cherry & Balsamic Vinegar

It is worth the extra effort to track down sour cherries for this recipe
Frozen Individually Quick Frozen sour cherries can easily be found in Ottawa, ON

This flavor is all about the Sour Cherries! The Balsamic Vinegar in this flavor heightens the cherriness of this flavor while deepening the overall richness of taste. Customers have often told me that I talk about my fruit rice pudding flavors as if I'm describing a complex wine. It's true in a sense. My fruit rice puddings often have complex flavor profiles with bold ones to the front and more subtle secondary or tertiary infusions hitting the palate after.

I'm also regularly asked How I manage to get so much flavor into my puddings. As far as I'm concerned, if they don't have great taste, then why bother making them. Yes, they are dairy free, nut free, etc. but that means nothing to me, if they don't taste great, first and foremost. So yes, I spend a lot of time developing my recipes to have a bold fruity impact on the taste buds.

Given a choice, I would use a good quality aged Balsamic Vinegar for this recipe. As an FYI for those with sensitivities, Balsamic Vinegar does contain sulphites. I prefer to use sour cherries for this flavor. I just find that overall they have a much stronger and interesting flavor profile compared with sweet cherries. They can usually be found IQF (individually quick frozen) at National Grocers on Cyrville Rd and/or at Tannis Trading on Catherine St., in Ottawa, ON. I would recommend phoning ahead to make sure that they have them in stock first as current supply chain issues are affecting frozen fruit imports, just like most other products.

What you will need:

2 medium sized pots with lids, measuring spoons, cups or kitchen scales (if you have one), a long metal spoon, a wire whisk (if you have one), a strainer that sits inside of a bowl, a heat proof/food safe container with lid, an immersion blendor or upright blender


27 oz frozen pitted sour cherries

1 + 12 oz coconut milk (14 oz in a regular can)

12 oz Calrose medium grain rice

11 oz sugar

1 Tablespoon good quality Balsamic Vinegar


  1. Place the Calrose rice into the strainer that sits inside a bowl. Rinse rice under running water and strain. Repeat 2 more times. Set aside to drain.

  2. In a medium sized pot place the cherries, 1 cup of water and 5 oz of sugar. Bring the pot to a medium boil, covered. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until cherries are soft.

  3. In the second medium sized pot place 32 oz of water and 1 oz of coconut milk. Bring the pot to a boil, covered. Add the rinsed and drained Calrose rice. Stir to ensure that the rice isn't stuck to the bottom of the pot. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible. Cover and set a timer for 20 minutes.

  4. Once the cherries are cooked, using an immersion or upright blender, puree the sour cherries until the sauce is smooth. Add 12 oz of coconut milk, 16 oz of water and 6 oz of sugar. Cover and bring the fruit sauce back up to a medium boil. Now add the 1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook, covered.

  5. Once the rice has cooked for 20 minutes, turn off the heat and allow the rice to continue to cook and to absorb more liquid for an additional 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, empty the hot cooked Calrose rice into the hot sour cherry sauce.

  6. Bring the whole Sour Cherry & Balsamic fruit rice pudding back up to a medium boil. Turn off the heat. Empty the rice pudding into a heat proof/food safe container and cover. Leave it to cool on the counter or on a wire cooling rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Place it in the fridge to cool completely.

  7. It will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, covered. Or, you may choose to portion and package some of your fruit rice pudding into freezer grade containers to enjoy at a later time. They will keep in the freezer for months.

  8. Consult our How to Freeze & Thaw post for best results. Consult our Simply Fruit Rice Puddings: Basic Ingredients post and our Basic Cooking Techniques post for more tips and tricks on making your very own puddings.

  9. This flavor is delicious on it's own, with a good quality Vanilla or Citrus frozen ice cream, gelato or yogurt. Top it off with an extra splash of high quality Balsamic Vinegar to make it even more tasty and special. Enjoy

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