I love this combination of flavours and it elevates the humble rice pudding to a higher plain. The cherry compote is best cooked plenty of time ahead to allow the cherries to swell and soften and the juices to become syrupy and somewhat concentrated.

I usually cook the cherries on the previous evening but cooked first thing in the morning to serve that evening, they will also yield a lovely result. The pudding is best served warm with chilled softly whipped cream to accompany.

The preparation time here is short but do allow the rice the suggested length of time to cook to a creamy consistency.

Serves 6-8


  • 250ml orange juice
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 100g sour dried cherries
  • 100g Arborio rice
  • 50g sugar
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 10g butter
  • 1.2l milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 2 litre capacity pie dish


  1. Place all the ingredients for the compote into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 5 minutes, remove, cool, cover and leave to macerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
  3. Put the rice, sugar, coconut, and butter into a pie dish. Bring the milk to the boil with the vanilla and pour over. Give everything a gentle stir.
  4. rorBake in the preheated oven for 1½ - 2 hours and remove when just set. The skin on the pudding should be golden; the rice underneath should be cooked through and have soaked up the milk, but still be soft and creamy.
  5. Serve the pudding warm with the cherry compote chilled or at room temperature and chilled softly whipped cream on the side.