COCONUT VANILLA BEAN RICE PUDDING
1/2 cup plus 2 T jasmine rice or basmati rice
1/4 cup sugar
1 (13 1/2-fluid ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup whole milk
1/4 t salt
1 vanilla bean (or 1 T vanilla extract)
1/2 cup plus 2 T sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
special tools: fine-mesh strainer
Cook the rice.
coconut rice, prepared by baking in a covered pot in the oven
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the rice in a strainer and rinse with cold water. Place the rice in a heavy-bottomed medium-sized saucepan with 2 cups cold water. Bring the rice to a boil and immediately remove the pan from the heat.
Strain the rice and discard the starchy water. Place the blanched rice back in the pan and add the sugar, coconut milk, milk, and salt.
Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, and cover the pan with aluminum foil or the lid. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the rice expands, and absorbs all the liquids, 30 minutes. (If the pan is not oven-proof, transfer the rice and liquid to a metal or glass baking dish and cover with aluminum foil). If there is still runny milk in the pan, continue to bake, covered, for another 5 to 10 minutes. When the rice is done, remove if from the oven, leave it covered, and set it aside.
Make the custard.
the cream and vanilla bean mixture, prior to cooking and thickening
While the rice is baking, make the custard. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds with a knife and combine the empty pod along with the seeds in a heavy saucepan with 1/2 cup sugar, milk and cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and allow the vanilla to steep for 10 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, egg and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and briskly whisk for 1 minute. Using a ladle, slowly whisk some of the hot cream into the egg mixture to warm it. Gradually pour the warmed egg mixture into the hot cream, whisking the cream constantly as you pour.
Cook the custard over medium heat, stirring continuously and scraping the bottom with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and remove the empty vanilla pod.
Combine the custard and the rice
the rice pudding is coconut-custardy-creamy
Scoop the rice into a large mixing bowl. Pour the hot custard over the rice and, using a whisk, slowly whisk until all of the rice granules are dispersed evenly and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Allow the rice pudding to cool completely.
Portion into oven-proof individual serving gratin or creme brulee dishes.
Sprinkle with granulated sugar and brulee (under a broiler or with a torch).
Will keep refrigerated, for 3 days