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Lemony Rice Pudding with Figs and Saba

Photo: Squire Fox
Hands-on time 10 mins
Total time 10 hrs, 10 mins
Yield Makes 10 servings


  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 7 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1 pt. fresh figs, quartered
  • Saba (see "Pantry Key," below)

How to Make It

  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in first 2 ingredients, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes; drain.

  2. Return rice to saucepan; stir in milk and next 4 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes or until thick. Remove vanilla bean. Remove from heat, and transfer to a glass bowl. Let stand 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Cover and chill 8 hours.

  3. Spoon into serving dishes; top each with figs and a drizzle of saba.

  4. Pantry Key. Saba: An ancient sweetener traditionally made from grape juice.

  5. Note: We tested with Carolina Plantation Rice ( and Zingerman's Saba Balsamic Syrup (

FIG, Charleston, SC