Put the spice into rice pudding with candied ginger

By Jim Bailey

I have a recipe written by my grandmother, four times removed, for Apple Whitpot.  Although I have followed her recipe and loved it, I created my own adaptation, which I think you will enjoy immensely, especially with the holidays coming up. Apparently my ancestor meant to write whitepot, missing the “e.” This rice dish is, or rather was, so-named because it was a recipe that was pure white, even when cooked in a pot. She mentions that it was eaten while hot, with stewed wild strawberries and blackberries. In England, it is still eaten with fruit preserves mixed in for breakfast.

We here in New England have been relishing this holiday dessert for generations, so I have ‘Yanked’ my version of this deliciously decadent dish with candied ginger, which you can find in any supermarket. If you are unable to find it, simply use any dried fruit or berry, such as dried cranberries.

Caramelized Apple Ginger Rice Pudding

Whitpot for a rich dessert.

Most rice puddings are made by slowly simmering starchy white rice in milk, sometimes on the stovetop, sometimes in the oven. But I decided to use a technique more common to risotto. The milk is added more slowly to the rice and cooked into it before more is added. Frequent stirring during this process also helps draw out more of the rice’s starch, creating a thicker, creamier pudding.

1/2 c. brown sugar, divided
3 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. arborio or short-grained rice
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. diced candied ginger
4 c. milk, divided

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1/4 c. brown sugar and cook until melted, about 1 minute. Add the butter, apples and cinnamon. Saute until browned and caramelized, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the salt, granulated sugar, ginger and 1 cup of the milk. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until almost all of the milk has been absorbed. Add another cup of milk and repeat with the stirring and cooking until almost entirely absorbed. Repeat with the remaining milk, 1 cup at a time, or until the rice is cooked through and the mixture is creamy. Serve warm with remainder 1/4 c. brown sugar dabbed over the top, whipped cream or ice cream, I like mine just as it comes off the stove.

Here is Grammy Charlotte Baileys recipe for Rice Pudding:
“To make Whitpot, start with a slow fire and boil 2 teecups rice, use less thoh for the price is high. Add twice as much rich cream and the same amount in cider. When done boiling and tis thick, stir in stewed berries from out back.”

If you want just a plainly delicious Baked Rice Pudding that will stand up to any recipe put up against it, try:

Old Fashioned Baked Rice Pudding

3 c. milk
1/2 c. real maple syrup
1/2 c. uncooked short grain rice
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. soaked golden raisins*
1 t. vanilla extract

In a saucepan, combine milk, maple syrup, rice, brown sugar and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Pour into a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Add raisins and vanilla; cover and bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Serve warm or chilled. Store in the refrigerator.

*Heat 1/2 c. apple juice or cider until very hot and soak raisins for 1 hour, draining before using.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at theyankeechef@aol.com.

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