I have had this idea for a rice pudding for a few years now. I wanted to use risotto rice (arborio), apples, nuts and a kind of caramel flavor. So, why haven’t I tried it before now? Well, to be honest, I’m not a rice pudding fan. Rice pudding while I was growing up consisted of left over white rice with some milk and cinnamon. I really didn’t like that, so I just never got around to trying something else.
A few years ago was the first time I had any kind of risotto and I was hooked. I was intimidated at first because everything said you had to stand and babysit the arborio rice while it cooked. Stir, add broth, stir, etc, etc, etc. Well, I don’t often have time to consistently babysit any dish without having to take several breaks. Then I had heard about a way to make risotto in a pressure cooker. This sounded intriguing, but I’m often a bit of a purist when it comes to making things the traditional way. I don’t like taking shortcuts because I always think it will somehow detract from the dish.
Here’s the thing though. Over the past few years being a mom, I’ve come to discover that shortcuts aren’t always a bad thing, and aside from that, sometimes shortcuts are just another way to make something. Not traditional, but still good.
Lis decided that we should all break out the dutch ovens, crock pots and pressure cookers and see what we could come up with. Thanks to her I finally made this and it was well worth it.
Caramel Apple Rice Pudding
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups (1 qt) apple cider
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 granny smith apple, peeled, diced
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
dash of kosher salt
2 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
whipped cream and ground cinnamon to garnish
Melt butter over medium heat, add the rice and cook, stirring occassionally, until slightly opaque, about 3 minutes.
Add the diced apple, pecans, spices, and brown sugar. Stir to combine, and allow the sugar to melt. Add the cider and stir. Clamp on the pressure cooker lid. Allow to heat up to low pressure level. Turn heat down low enough to maintain pressure. Cook for 5 minutes, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally.
Carefully remove the lid and add the cream and cream cheese, stir to combine and melt the cheese.
Spoon into serving dishes, top with some lightly whipped cream and sprinkle with a little cinnamon.