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Rice Pudding Tarts are So Hollywood

Rice Pudding Tarts with Cardamon and Blood Oranges

What do kids today think about rice pudding? The kind made by grandmothers. The kind you can stand a spoon up in. Do kids understand what rice pudding has meant to a waning generation raised on pudding that didn’t come in a plastic cup or a cardboard box? Well, that kind of pudding is probably gone forever. In fact, rice pudding is like the Hollywood neighborhood where I live: it’s changed a lot. When I first came to Hollywood it was overrun with tourists getting robbed in broad daylight. Sure tourists still get robbed, but the heist occurs in trendy pop-up restaurants with door policies so strict I’ve seen Vin Diesel waiting in line. I decided if Hollywood can evolve so can my rice pudding. Rice Pudding Tarts with Cardamon and Blood Oranges.

I make that statement about the good ole days of rice pudding with a certain air of false nostalgia. Because actually, as much as I loved homemade rice pudding, I was also a kid who loved pudding that came in a box with a bright red (all caps) JELL‑O logo. The pudding of my youth seemed to me to be the perfect food. Well-suited to any meal. Sure it only came in two colors: yellow and brown (I hesitate to even call them flavors, but technically they were vanilla and chocolate) but these two colors seemed to fit any occasion.

When I was very young these pudding boxes were prepared with milk heated on the stove. As a new cook, my mom made JELL‑O pudding as a treat. By the time the 1970’s were in full swing my mom had discovered Julia Child and JELL‑O pudding was banned in our house. However it was too late, my childhood love of the stuff was already deeply ingrained. There was nothing my mother and Julia could do to dampen my desire for either yellow or brown JELL‑O pudding.

This is also about the same time JELL‑O introduced its instant varieties. Meaning even a shy boy could “cook” pudding all on his own. Just add milk, stir and chill. I was so enamored of the instant variety that I would often spend my allowance on the stuff. In hindsight, I realize my fascination with instant pudding wasn’t because I loved its taste (I don’t remember it having any taste). Rather it was the joy I found in the “cooking” of the pudding (behind my mother’s back).

Rice Pudding Tarts with Cardamon and Blood Oranges

Well, I still find joy in pudding (and in cooking). Only I’ve evolved beyond the stir and chill, instant JELL‑O pudding of my youth. In fact, even my tastes in rice pudding have evolved. While I still like a big bowl of old-fashioned rice pudding, these days I’m far more likely to become fascinated with a type of cooking I call “fresh takes on the familiar”. Which is why these Rice Pudding Tarts with Cardamon and Blood Oranges appeal to me so much. Just like the Hollywood neighborhood where I live these little rice pudding tarts have benefitted from a bit of gentrification. GREG

Rice Pudding Tarts with Cardamon and Blood OrangesRice Pudding Tarts with Cardamon and Blood Oranges

Cardamom Rice Pudding Tarts with Blood Oranges

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 6Source Adapted from Martha Stewart LivingPublished

If you prefer a less sweet Rice Pudding Tart make these tarts, as I did, using pâte brisée instead.

Cardamom Rice Pudding Tarts with Blood Oranges

Ingredients

  • (as needed for rolling)
  • pâte sucrée (see recipe)
  • 4 blood oranges
  • ½ cup short grain rice (such as Arborio)
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • chocolate curls (as garnish, optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place six 4‑inch tart pans with removable bottoms on a baking sheet lined. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll pâte sucrée out to a generous 1/8 inch thick. Cut out six 6‑inch circles of dough with a sharp paring knife, using an overturned 6‑inch bowl or plate as a guide if necessary. Press dough into tart pans; trim excess with a sharp knife. Dock tart shells by piercing the bottom all over with a fork. Transfer to the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.

Cut out six 6‑inch parchment paper circles, and line rings; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and carefully remove parchment and beans. Return to oven, and continue baking until golden brown all over, about 10 minutes more. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Carefully remove tart shells from tart rings, and set aside.

Grate the zest of 1 orange, and set aside. Cut the ends off all 4 oranges, and remove the peel and pith with a paring knife, following the curve of the fruit. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, slice between the membranes to remove segments, being careful to leave them whole. Transfer to a separate bowl, and set aside. Squeeze the membranes to extract as much juice as possible; reserve ¼ cup juice.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add rice, and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain well, and return to saucepan. Add milk, zest, salt, and sugar; cook at a gently bubbling simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and most of the liquid is quite thick and creamy; about 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes before proceeding.

In a large bowl, whisk together heavy cream, egg yolk, reserved ¼ cup orange juice, and ground cardamom. Gradually whisk in the somewhat cooled rice mixture, and return to saucepan. Place pan over medium-low heat; cook, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens; about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes (keep in mind that rice pudding will continue to thicken even after cooking). Pour about ½‑cup filling into each baked tart shell, smoothing the top as necessary. You may not use all the pudding. Let cool completely then arrange orange segments in a decorative pattern over rice pudding, and garnish with chocolate curls (if using). Serve immediately.

Pâte Sucrée

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 10/11-inch tartSource Adapted from Naomi PomeroyPublished
Pâte Sucrée

Ingredients

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 14 tablespoon cold butter (cut into ½ cubes)

Directions

Whisk egg yolks and cream in a small bowl; set aside.

Pulse flour, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor several times until well combined. Add the butter and pulse for 2 or 3 seconds 8–10 more times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Remove the lid and drizzle egg-cream mixture all over the flour and butter, and replace the top. blend just to combine (do not overwork dough or crust will be tough). Pulse several more times to distribute moisture.

Transfer dough to a large work surface. Knead just to incorporate, 4–5 turns. Shape the dough into a 6‑inch disc. Wrap the disc in plastic and chill at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Rice Pudding Tarts with Cardamon and Blood Oranges.

 

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