Vanilla Rice Pudding with Poached Pears, Crumbled Gingerbread and Pecans from Aoife Noonan on Today with Maura and Dáithí.

Ingredients

For the Rice Pudding:

  • 130g Pearl or Pudding Rice
  • 750ml Milk
  • 35g Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Pod, seeds scraped

For the Poached Pears:

  • 500ml Water
  • 250g Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Pod, seeds scraped
  • 2 Pears
  • 1tbsp Lemon Juice

For the Toasted Pecans:

  • 50g Pecan Nuts

For the Gingerbread: (Makes 1 Loaf Tin)

  • 175g Flour
  • 1tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1tbsp Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 2tbsp Milk
  • 75g Treacle
  • 75g Golden Syrup
  • 75g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 75g Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • Zest of 1 Orange and 1 Lemon

Method

For the Rice Pudding: 

  1. Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. 
  2. Put the rice into a saucepan with the vanilla seeds and the sugar.
  3. Cook over a low heat, stirring regularly until the rice has absorbed most of the milk and becomes creamy, about 15 minutes.
  4. Serve warm or chilled.

For the Poached Pears:

  1. Make a syrup to poach the pears by putting the water, sugar, vanilla pod and seeds into a medium saucepan and bringing to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer and prepare the pears.
  3. Peel and halve the pears. Remove the core using a spoon or melon baller.
  4. Place the pears in a bowl of cold water with the lemon juice.
  5. When ready to poach, place the pears into the poaching liqueur and cook the pears until soft but not falling apart, about 5-7 minutes depending on the ripeness of the pear.
  6. Keep warm in the syrup or serve chilled.

For the Toasted Pecans: 

  1. Put the pecans on a baking tray and place in a preheated oven at 180C for 5 minutes until nicely toasted, ensuring they don’t burn.
  2. Leave to cool and roughly chop.

For the Gingerbread: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
  2. Mix the flour, spices and zests together in a bowl.
  3. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the milk and set aside.
  4. Put the treacle, golden syrup, butter and sugar into a saucepan on a medium heat with 75ml Water to melt.
  5. Once melted, add the syrup to the flour, beating with a wooden spoon.
  6. Add the egg, followed by the milk, beating all the time.
  7. Grease a loaf tin and pour the mix into the tin.
  8. Bake the loaf for 45 minutes. Remove the tin from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before turning out of the tin.
  9. Leave to cool before using as required.

To serve:

  • Spoon the cooled rice pudding into a bowl and top with a pear half.
  • Crumble over the gingerbread and the chopped pecans and serve.