Turkish Rice Pudding

Chef Christopher Koetke

During my first trip to Turkey this year, I was amazed at the diversity of the different dishes and desserts.  This dessert particularly caught my attention as it was delicious and felt a lot like comfort food to me.  Best of all, it is pretty easy to put together.

Difficulty: Moderate
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6

½ cup short grain rice
2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ¼ cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons corn starch
1 egg yolk

1. In a small saucepan, place rice, water and salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat until a simmer.  Simmer uncovered for 12 minutes.  Drain through a strainer and rinse with cold water.  Reserve.
2. In another small saucepan, combine 3 ½ cups milk, sugar, cooked rice and vanilla.  Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring periodically.
3. Meanwhile, mix cornstarch and ½ cup of milk until the cornstarch dissolves.
4. Add to the simmering mixture, while stirring constantly.  Return to a boil and remove from heat.
5. In a bowl, mix up egg yolk and remaining ¼ cup of milk.  Pour 1/4of the hot rice mixture into yolk, while whisking constantly.  Reserve.
6. Pour the rice mixture (not the one with the yolk) into 6 oven-proof ramekins.  Be sure that the rice is evenly distributed.   Top each with a coating of the rice mixture with the egg yolk.
7. Place the ramekins under the broiler.  Cook until the tops are lightly burned.
8. Cool and refrigerate for at least four hours.