With cooler days and changing leaves comes a new season of cooking! I am always excited when a new season comes around. The first ripe pears, the first roasted chestnuts, the first creamy pumpkin soup…fall is here. Time to try out new ingredients and new recipes.

When temperatures drop, I often find myself craving creamy soups, risottos, or sweet rice puddings. I usually top my rice pudding with a few pieces of extra dark chocolate, with the heat from the pudding nicely melting the chocolate. The contrast between the sweet, milky rice and the deep flavor of dark molten chocolate is heavenly! This particular rice pudding is a bit different,  because it’s topped with deliciously fragrant and slightly sticky plums and an irresistible caramel sauce. Give it a try! It’s perfect for a lazy Sunday breakfast or brunch, or a late night snack.

Vanilla Rice Pudding with Caramelized Rosemary Plums (serves 4)
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
700ml whole milk
200g short grain rice (arborio works well)
sugar, to taste
2 tablespoons honey
8 plums
1 rosemary twig
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter

1. Put milk, vanilla pod and scraped seeds into a pot and bring to the boil. Add rice, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. When the rice is cooked, add sugar to taste. Add extra milk or cream if the rice pudding is too dry. Remove vanilla pod before serving.
2. Cut plums in half and remove pit. Tear rosemary twig into small pieces.
3. Heat honey, 1 tablespoon sugar, and butter in a frying pan until caramelized. Add plums (cut side down) and rosemary and cook for about 2 minutes.
4. Add a few tablespoons cream, stir, and remove from heat.
5. Serve warm vanilla rice pudding topped with caramel sauce and plums.


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