Vanilla Rice Puddings with Glazed Oranges
Thinly sliced oranges are candied in a honey syrup that lends them a faint floral perfume. The sweet citrus slices sit atop a contemporary version of rice pudding, which is made from starchy, short-grain Arborio rice to yield a texture that's exceptionally rich. Heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks, is folded in just before serving to ensure a light consistency.
For the Glazed Oranges
- 3 seedless oranges, unpeeled, very thinly sliced (halved if large)
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
For the Rice Pudding
- 1 cup short-grain Italian rice, such as Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
Make the glazed oranges: Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. Add oranges, and cook until almost translucent, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer to a baking sheet.
Cut a parchment circle to fit a large, shallow saucepan. Bring water, honey, and sugar to a boil in the pan, stirring to dissolve sugar and honey. Add oranges, and place parchment directly on surface. Reduce heat, and gently simmer until oranges are soft and liquid has reduced to a syrup, about 24 minutes. Let cool. (Oranges and syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 week.)
Make the rice pudding: Put rice, water, milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and salt into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat. Cover, and simmer until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, 16 to 17 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; let cool. Discard vanilla bean.
Beat cream until very soft peaks form. Fold into rice mixture. Divide pudding among serving dishes; top with orange slices, and drizzle with syrup.