Spiced Rice Pudding with Fruit

This was a fridge and cupboard clearing-out exercise which worked so well, I’m posting it. (But you should still try my Torta di Riso for sumpin fancier.)

Rice pudding is so often a stodgy mess, and therefore utterly disappointing. This perky, fruity, spicy version is different; and your preferred spicing / fruit will be exciting (or, let’s be frank, more than boring).

Serves: 8 – 10


  • 280g pudding rice, i.e. small-grained rice
  • 2 small oranges, satsumas, or clementines: finely grated zest, and juice/pulp
  • 2 passionfruit, juice/pulp only (optional)*
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest only*
    * if you don’t have passionfruit, use the zest and juice/pulp of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 500ml 2% or whole milk;
    – plus 120ml more milk
  • 60ml double cream;
    – plus 120ml more cream;
    – plus more cream for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4″ fresh ginger root, finely grated (or, 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  • 2 fresh plums: stoned, and finely chopped (or other similarly-sized fresh fruit)
  • 5 semi-soft dried prunes: stoned, and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg or mace (or, 3 seconds’ grating of fresh nutmeg)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves


  • One large, heavy-bottomed saucepan with lid
  • A fine grater
  • A citrus juicer
  • A chopping board and sharp knife


  1. Put everything into a large pot (without the additional milk/cream) on the hob over a high heat. Bring to the boil, stirring regularly.
  2. Reduce the heat (move to the smallest ring if you can), put on the lid, and leave to low-simmer for 20 minutes. Stir every few minutes or so.
  3. After 20 minutes, add the additional 120ml milk and 120ml cream, bring back to the boil, and then reduce again to the lowest heat. Simmer for another 20 minutes with the lid on, stirring regularly.
  4. From here, it’s up to your tastes – if you think it’s too ‘chewy’, put in another 60ml milk or cream, stir madly, bring back to the boil, and then reduce the heat, and leave for another 10 minutes or so.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat; spoon into serving bowls/glasses, and serve warm or cold. A bit of additional milk or cream to pour over would not go amiss, nor a sprinkle of additional spice or even a rakish slice of plum to garnish.

As per the main recipe description, this was one of those impromptu clearing-out recipes that went so well, I was astonished, and duly inflicted it on you. If you have nightmares about stodgy / gloopy / boring school-dinner rice puddings, this is what you should make to erase those childhood horror memories.

REMEMBER:  *ANY* fruit works here. In summer, you’re embarrassed for fresh cherries, peaches, apricots, blueberries, or other soft fruit. Any of these would make your rice pudding utterly divine. Think about the spicing, though, to match your fruit.

If it’s off-season for fresh fruit, then any drained/defrosted frozen fruit would work, or drained/tinned fruit. Adding a palmful of dried fruit – chopped as necessary – helps to add texture.



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