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Caramelized Rice Pudding with Pears and Raisins

Photography: Karry Hosford
Yield 8 servings
This method of slow-baking gives a rich, caramelized flavor to the rice pudding and is based on a technique from cookery writer Sue Kreitzman. It takes some time to make, so prepare the rice pudding the day before. Cool the rice pudding before caramelizing the sugar topping. To create the crisp sugar topping without a torch, visit for a stove-top method.


  • 4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 cup Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 (3-inch) piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 cups chopped peeled Bosc pears
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 385
  • caloriesfromfat 19 %
  • fat 8.2 g
  • satfat 4.9 g
  • monofat 2.3 g
  • polyfat 0.4 g
  • protein 7.5 g
  • carbohydrate 71.5 g
  • fiber 2.7 g
  • cholesterol 30 mg
  • iron 0.7 mg
  • sodium 114 mg
  • calcium 201 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 300º.

  2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a 3-quart casserole. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to rice mixture. Place dish in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 300º, uncovered, 2 1/2 hours or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Discard cinnamon stick and vanilla bean; stir in cream. Cool.

  3. Combine pears and next 4 ingredients (pears through cinnamon stick) in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Discard cinnamon stick. Spoon about 1/3 cup pear mixture into the bottom of each of 8 (8-ounce) ramekins. Top each serving with about 1/3 cup rice pudding. Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over each serving. Holding a kitchen blow torch about 2 inches over rice pudding, heat the sugar, moving the torch back and forth, until sugar is completely melted and caramelized (about 45 seconds). Serve within 30 minutes. (Do not refrigerate or caramel will melt).