Okay, so i am not being entirely seasonal with this recipe; i believe persimmon season finished quite some time ago. I'm not sure exactly when persimmons are available (i think they are an Autumn fruit), but my awareness of persimmon season should improve in coming years, as i just planted a persimmon tree this winter.
Despite my lack of persimmons i've still included the persimmon element of the recipe, for those of you who, when the season is right, have persimmons to use. You will see from my photo that i did not actually use persimmons for my sauce. Instead i used some of my stock of spicy plum sauce (see recipe that goes with the Fresh Plum Cake in my post from 12 March 2017). A single batch of Spicy Plum Sauce goes a long way; i only make one batch each season, using some fresh with a plum cake, and then freezing the rest in small containers for use during the year. It is perfect for with this rice pudding, and winter is most definitely rice pudding season.
I've had this recipe for at least 10 years; i first tasted it when at a friend's birthday dinner. Her flatmate had cooked it, and kindly shared the recipe with me. She'd come across it in a magazine - maybe a 'House and Garden', or possibly 'Cuisine' magazine. My sister-in-law clearly read the same magazine, as myself and the husband were given the same dessert a week or two later when visiting her for dinner. Not that i was going to complain, as it really is extremely tasty. And it is ideal for serving at a dinner party, as you can make it well ahead of the arrival of guests, and have one less thing to think about. I've served it several times when i've had friends around for dinner, and i have yet to meet someone who doesn't like it.
I've included the instructions exactly as i copied them down, however i sometimes omit the cream (we use powdered milk in our house, so i just make a nice thick batch of milk). If i omit the cream i find i don't require a full cup of milk to replace the cup of cream.
Also, my mother taught me when making milk-based sweet dishes (for example custard) to add the sugar at the end of the cooking, and then stir to dissolve. This lessens the chance of burning. Mother also advocated adding vanilla essence after cooking (and ideally when the dish has cooled somewhat), as this apparently preserves more of the vanilla flavour. I've never done a trial to see if this is true, but have retained this habit.
RUM and WHITE CHOCOLATE RICE PUDDING with PERSIMMON SAUCE
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup rum
1/2 cup short grain rice
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup cream
2 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped white chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons minced root ginger
2 large persimmons (can also use fresh apricot, mago or pawpaw
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Place raisins in a cup and cover with rum. Soak 1 hour or microwave for 1 minute then stand for 20 minutes.
Place rice in a heavy based pot over a very low heat with sugar, cream, milk, vanilla and cinnamon, and cook until the rice is creamy and tender (about twenty minutes), stirring often. Add more milk if the mixture becomes too dry.
Allow to cool, then stir in the soaked fruits, soaking rum and white chocolate.
To make the sauce, boil the sugar, orange juice and minced ginger together, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for twenty minutes.
halve the persimmons and remove the stones. Blend the flesh until smooth. Add this puree to the orange juice mix along with the fresh lime juice. Makes 2 cups.
To serve spoon persimmon sauce onto plates with a dollop of rice on top. Grate over some extra white chocolate for garnish.