Friday, 9 December 2011
Inspired by the past - Coconut rice pudding with pineapple sauce
One of the (many) things that puts a smile on my face is thinking about things to do with the past. I don't live in the past, despite my love of family history, but I do think about times gone and allow my memory to indulge itself in a remembrance of times gone. It might be a piece of music, a smell, a taste that takes me back to a place that is a little fuzzy around the edges.
So, it was opening a tin of coconut milk back in present time to make Nigella's speedy Thai curry (no doubt appearing at a blog near you soon, now I have reminded myself of it) and the waft of coconut took me firstly to holidays and bottles of Hawaiian Tropic and lazy days amongst the sea and sand and lovely warm sun. Then I was reminded of the bottle of Malibu that a school friend and I used to have stashed in her bedroom which became notably our tipple of choice as we ventured out clubbing for the first time at far too young an age. (Notice how the goalposts have changed; when I was 15 it was fine, when Lola is 15 and behaving in the same way I will be wringing my hands). That bottle of Malibu became the theme of those evenings, and because we knew no better, Malibu and pineapple became our drink of choice and when we had exhausted our funds, we would flutter our eyelashes at any blokes in the hope they would keep our glasses full until about 10 minutes before the end of the night we would disappear, before things got complicated.
Even though |I got old, Malibu and pineapple didn't, (neither did its similarly schoolgirly tipple of that time, Cinzano and lemonade) and I have in the not too distant past bought a bottle of Malibu in a fit of nostalgic reverie and poured myself a suitably large one and laced it with a dash of pineapple, and it is from this combination of flavours that this pudding 'evolved'. I'd thought about coconut ice cream with pineapple jelly forgetting that pineapple and jelly is really not a good idea if you would like the jelly to set, though I think there may be a time where I consider a cool double hit of coconut ice cream and pineapple ice cream, which may turn out to be the summer version to this essentially winter pudding. The thing I love about this though is the creamy coconut rice with the sweetly acidic edge of pineapple works for me, totally, and whilst it might not transport me totally back to Falcon's Crest circa 1989/1990 it makes me smile nevertheless. I hope it makes you smile too.
Coconut rice pudding with pineapple sauce
Serves 4, plus Lola and Finn
8oz pudding rice
A tin of coconut milk
Milk, measured out in the empty coconut milk tin plus about 200ml extra
About 2oz sugar (add more to taste if you have a sweet tooth)
a dash of vanilla extract or a vanilla pod
Half a pineapple, or a tin of pineapple (chunks or rings, your call) but I think fresh pineapple is sweeter.
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp icing sugar (or to taste)
To make the rice pudding, add all the ingredients to as suitable pan (I use my cast iron pot) mix well, then taste. You may want more sugar, but go easy.
Cover, place on the stove for about an hour, checking carefully to make sure it doesn't dry out. If it's looking a little dry, slacken it off with either some cream or milk.
Meantime, make the pineapple sauce. Blitz the pineapple with a handheld blender or a mini processor. Add the cornflour to thicken the mixture and then add icing sugar to taste. Place into a pan and begin to warm through gently until the cornflour thickens the mixture and the icing sugar dissolves into the pineapple. Set aside.
When the rice pudding is ready, ladle some into bowls, then dollop the pineapple sauce in the middle.