Chilled Riz Au Lait With Citrus Honey Poached Peaches

June 29, 2015

Chilled Rice Pudding with Citrus & Honey Poached Peaches
Thank you to everyone who has inquired about the workshop in Charleston. Yes, it is sold out but we do have a waitlist if you are interested. You can send me an email at helenedujardinphoto[at]gmail[dot com]. It's been a busy May with family here and a busy June but I am ready for summer cooking and summer playing!

The heat is on for sure! We've been grilling a lot and making big salads chock full of all the vegetables we can get at the market. The oven is currently not an option I want to have. Gets the house too hot, takes forever to cool off and with longer days and more light, we just want to sit on the patio and enjoy the refreshing evenings as much as possible.

I have not done much baking, and usually it's been on early weekend mornings before it got too warm. Desserts have been lots and lots of fresh fruits and the occasional cookies and ice cream. Not tremendously exciting (well, except for the couple of new ice cream flavors I have been trying to nail), but when summer rolls around, there are always three desserts I tend to put on rotations at the house. Panna Cotta, clafoutis and riz au lait (rice pudding).
Baking With Peaches & Lemon Verbana
Riz au lait is my comfort food. My grandmother used to make it all the time whenever we needed a little TLC. For me it screams "I love you", "Let me comfort you", "make yourself a bowl and come unload what troubles you" or just "hey, things are wonderful, let's celebrate!" It's all that. A gentle hug, a reminder to slow down. The scent of vanilla infused milk just wafting through the house. Something that requires you to pause and stir. Inhale and exhale. To me it is the essence of cooking and sharing. As soon as I make Riz Au Lait, I want to give a bowl to someone. 

Granted, it's usually a dessert I make more often in the fall and winter months but chilled rice pudding adds a nice bite and cold creamy smooth feel. I cook the rice with milk and a bit of vanilla, just to the point of the milk being completely absorbed. I let the rice continue soaking in all that lovely goodness until it is cool. It's soft and unctuous without being liquid.  The creaminess will reveal itself in the bite, not the look. Once cooled, I top it off with fruit poached in a citrus and honey syrup. Right now, peaches are ripe and gorgeous, but it could well be rhubarb or strawberries, a mix of different berries, etc...

My extra bit of love comes from a couple of lemon verbena stems I add to the syrup. Vanilla, citrus, honey, lemon verbena. My favorites, all surrounding a comforting bowl of rice pudding. Maybe not like Grandma used to make but she would approve nonetheless. I'm pretty sure of that...
Chilled Rice Pudding with Citrus & Honey Poached Peaches

Chilled Riz Au Lait with Citrus Honey Poached Peaches:

Serves 4

For the rice pudding:
2/3 cup medium grain white rice
1/2 cup water
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup sugar

In a medium saucepan, bring the rice and water to a boil. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer. Add the milk, vanilla bean paste and sugar and cook over medium heat the milk is just about absorbed. Stir off and on, keeping an eye on the milk to prevent it from boiling over.
Remove from the heat, let cool 5 minutes and put a sheet of plastic wrap over the rice for another 10-15 minutes The milk will continue to get absorbed into the rice. The texture won't be as creamy as freshly warmly made rice pudding but that is what we are looking for here. The creaminess will reveal itself in the bite, not the look.
Divide into 4 bowls and let refrigerate until ready to use.
While the rice cools, prepare the peaches.

Citrus Honey Poached Peaches:
2 peaches, halved and pits removed  (I left the skin on, but feel free to peel them before you poach them)
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
2 lemon verbena stems

In a tall saucepan, place the peaches, orange juice, water, honey so that the peaches are submerged in the liquid. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Poach the peaches for about 10-12 minutes. Remove the peaches and lemon verbena from the saucepan and let cool completely. Discard the lemon verbena. Continue to cook the syrup until it has the consistency of honey or syrup.
Let cool slightly. Slice the peaches and divide them on top of the rice pudding bowls. Top with syrup and serve.


Ta said...

Love your word, unctuous. Also, this looks delightful. I love peaches.

June Burns said...

What a cool dessert that sounds like! I'm sure the fresh fruit makes the rice pudding just wonderful :)

adina said...

Hi. Milk rice is comfort food for me too, my grandmother used to make it for me very often. I love it and eat it at least once a month, not really as a dessert but as a sweet main meal. I would like my children to think of it as comfort food sometime in the future. We normally eat it with syrup or jam but I will definitely try it with roasted fruits next time, it looks delicious.

Lena said...

The poached peaches sound and look absolutely gorgeous! I will definitely give them a try. Thanks for the inspiration!

Tori said...

This looks so warm and comforting. It reminds me of when my mom used to make me rice pudding when it was just us girls in the house and I loved it! Beautiful!

Vickie said...

sounds wonderful, especially with the peaches

Lauren said...

What a lovely recipe, and it uses my current obsession peaches. Cannot get enough! I agree rice pudding is love :)

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said...

Looks beyond delish!

Lizabeth said...

This sounds so good! Where do you find vanilla bean paste?

Shelby said...

Love rice pudding! This recipe looks delicious, comforting and nourishing in so many ways... thank you for sharing! Beautiful post and pictures as always...Happy Summer!

Helene said...

Lizabeth: usually on Amazon, or specialty stores like Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Always looking for peach recipes this time of year! This is a gorgeous one...

Eileen said...

Yes... Summer comfort food!

Alex said...

Hi! You mention adding cardamom to the saucepan for the peaches, but I don't see it in the ingredient list. How much cardamom? Whole? Ground? Thanks so much for this recipe :)

Helene said...

Alex: Hi, I did not mean to write cardamom although I'm pretty sure I was thinking cardamom would be nice in it too! I'd add about 1/4 teaspoon ground if I were to use some. Thank you!

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