Rice pudding with poached dried fruit

Rice pudding with poached dried fruit

PS Desserts
Mark Roper

This childhood favourite is glammed up with the addition of dried fruit poached in fortified wine. It’s perfect for a late-autumn dinner party or equally good with fresh strawberries and poached rhubarb in early spring.

Rice pudding


Quantity Ingredient
1.1 litre milk
200ml thickened cream, (35% milk fat)
150g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
1 cinnamon stick
2 finger length strips orange zest, use a peeler and remove excess pith (see notes)
1 clove, (see Notes)
220g pudding, short-grain or carnaroli rice
3 gold-strength gelatine leaves, soaked in iced water until softened, then squeezed to remove excess water, see note
750g Crème pâtissière, at room temperature
500ml Whipped cream, using the whipped cream method, soft peak stage


  1. Make sure the bowl you use is cold. (If it’s a hot day, it’s a good idea to chill the bowl in the fridge.) Pour the cream into the bowl.
  2. Whisk the cream by hand or in an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until it starts to form a “ribbon” when the whisk is lifted. Continue to whisk carefully for another 30 seconds or until the cream holds very “soft peaks”. It is now ready to use as directed in the recipe.
  3. For the rice pudding

    Place 8 individual dessert rings on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  4. Bring the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, cinnamon, orange zest and clove to a simmer in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the rice and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender. This takes up to 20 minutes, a little more for carnaroli rice. Add the gelatine and stir to dissolve.
  5. Allow the pudding to cool, covered with plastic wrap. When cooled to blood temperature, remove all the aromatics.
  6. Now stir through the crème pâtissière, then the whipped cream. Spoon into the rings (or divide among small serving bowls). Leave at room temperature until serving (or chill if serving with summery accompaniments).

Poached dried fruit


Quantity Ingredient
200g prunes
200g dried apricots
100g golden raisins
110g dried baby figs
300g caster sugar
375g fortified wine (such as tokay, muscat or sauternes)
1 litre water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, (or rinse the vanilla bean from the rice pudding)

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
honey, for drizzling
Sablé breton, to serve
or Pâte sablée, made into biscuits, to serve


  1. For the poached dried fruit

    If you have the time, poached dried fruit tastes better prepared several days ahead.
  2. Soak the fruits separately in hot water for several hours or until plump and moist, then drain.
  3. To make the poaching syrup, bring the remaining ingredients to the boil in a heavy-based saucepan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the drained fruit. Cover with a cartouche and poach gently for about 1 hour or until swollen and soft. Allow the fruit to cool in the syrup.
  4. Keep at room temperature, if using immediately, or store in the fridge. It will keep well for up to 1 week due to the high alcohol content but make sure it is completely submerged in the syrup.
  5. To serve

    To unmould the rice puddings, place each on a serving plate and use a kitchen blowtorch to heat the outside of the ring, then gently lift off the ring. Surround and top each pudding with the poached dried fruit and drizzle with some poaching syrup and a little honey. Serve with a biscuit.
  6. Alternatively, if presenting in a large serving bowl, top with the poached dried fruit, drizzle with the syrup and honey and let guests serve themselves.


  • Gelatine comes in several forms. I use gold strength and as a general rule one leaf equals 2 g, so if you only have, for example, titaniumstrength leaves or powdered gelatine, you can substitute 1 gold-strength leaf with 2 g of whatever type of gelatine you have.

    I tend to shun powdered gelatine as I find its flavour unpleasant. Gelatine leaves are available from good supermarkets, specialty food suppliers or online.


  • Don’t forget to wash citrus fruits when using the zest.

    So the clove doesn’t get lost, poke it through one of the strips of zest.


  • If you don’t have access to a kitchen blowtorch, wipe the exterior of the ring with a tea towel dipped in very hot water, then unmould.
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