Strawberry & Lemon Fruit Rice Pudding
This is a bright & sparkly spring/summer flavor. Both fruits retain their pure tastes and create a lively fruit rice pudding. When I first started out making my Simply Fruit Rice Puddings at the Carp Farmers' Market, I made new flavors each week. As there really wasn't such a thing as a gluten free & vegan Strawberry & Lemon rice pudding recipe anywhere to be found, I had to create my own. This involved a lot of trial and error to find the right balance of sweet/sour, the right texture/type of rice, the right amount of liquid while cooking/when it cools.
With citrus, I used to write my recipes by saying 'juice & zest of 3 lemons'. As I experimented further, I came to realize that this method did not create a consistent product. As I started selling my fruit rice puddings in specialty food shops, I absolutely needed a consistent product each time I made a recipe. Some lemons are more juicy/less juicy than others and their yield greatly affects the end result of the rice pudding, in sweetness, tartness and texture. I eventually switched to measuring all of my ingredients by weight and/or volume. Both techniques give a comparable end result. What I don't do anymore is measure my citrus juices by the number of whole fruits.
We are fast approaching the fresh local strawberry season. The color of this rice pudding flavor becomes very vibrant when using fresh local berries. Our Farmers' Markets will be filled with the new crop in the coming weeks. When fresh local berries are individually quick frozen (IQF), they retain their beautiful color and sweetness. As with all of my recipes, frozen commercial berries can always be used. They still create a lovely end product but nothing can compare to the color that you get with the fresh, in season, local strawberries.
What you will need:
2 medium sized pots with lids, a strainer that sits inside of a bowl, an immersion or upright blender, a long metal spoon, a rubber spatula, measuring spoons & cups or kitchen scales (if you have one), a wire whisk (if you have one), a lemon juicer (if you have one), a lemon zester or kitchen grater (if you have one), a small bowl, a small knife, a heat proof/food safe container with lid
35 oz strawberries
13 oz Calrose medium grain rice
13 oz sugar
1 + 8 oz coconut milk
4.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/8 tsp ground clove
zest of 2 lemons
Place the Calrose rice in a strainer that sits inside of a bowl and run it under water. Strain and repeat 2 more times. Set aside to drain.
Wash the whole lemons with a light dish soap and rinse. Using a hand zester or a kitchen grater, remove the bright yellow outer layer from the lemon and set aside. Cut the lemons in half crosswise. Using a hand juicer or your hands, squeeze the juice out of the fruits until you have 4.5 oz of juice.
Place the lemon juice in a medium sized pot with 2 oz of water and 2 oz of sugar. Bring to a medium boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir the juice to melt all of the sugar. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the reserved lemon zest and cook for another 2 minutes. Empty the lemon sauce into a small bowl and set aside.
Rinse the strawberries and remove the stems. In the same medium sized lemon pot (no need to wash it first) place the strawberries, 8 oz of water and 11 oz of sugar. Bring the fruit to a medium boil, covered. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes, if using fresh strawberries. If using frozen, you may need to cook them longer to allow for them to thaw and then cook.
In the second medium sized pot place 32 oz of water and 1 oz of coconut milk. Bring pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and add the rinsed and drained Calrose rice. Stir the rice to ensure that it isn't sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot and set a timer for 20 minutes.
Once the strawberries have cooked, using an immersion or upright blender, puree the fruit sauce until smooth. Add the reserved lemon sauce, the coconut milk, 8 oz of water and the ground clove. Bring sauce back to a medium boil. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer, covered, until the Calrose rice is fully cooked.
After the 20 minutes cooking time, turn the rice heat off. Keep the pot covered and allow the rice to continue to cook and to absorb more liquid for an additional 10 minutes. Then, empty the hot cooked rice into the hot strawberry & lemon sauce. Use a wire whisk to combine the 2 and to break up any clumps of cooked rice.
Empty the hot Strawberry & Lemon Fruit Rice Pudding into a heat proof/food safe container and cover. Place it on a counter or on a wire rack to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, 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 it into freezer grade containers to enjoy at a later time. It will keep frozen 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 & tricks on making your own fruit rice pudding. Enjoy!