I grew up hating peaches, there I said it! At least until the age of 10 or 12, I assumed they were a cheap excuse for mangoes. They seemed similar, juicy and sweet yet possessing a fuzzy disposition that made me deem them weaker to the mango. Indian mangoes are delicious (Alphonsos are my favorite) and second to none, my grandparents had several trees at their home which helped to create this arbitrary standard in my head and I nurtured this idiotic notion for a while, a long time.... However, my opinion has evolved and changed which in part is due to the lack of good comparable mango options in stores. The absence of one yellow fruit led me to appreciate another and oddly enough, I now stand happily corrected and humbled because peaches are now one of my favorite fruits to eat in summer.
Brülée a peach and it will reveal its secrets, it will release its flavor and sweetness and while sitting atop a simple vehicle such as this rice pudding, it will create a story that can be read through taste. This creamy rice pudding is gently infused with dried chamomile flowers and thickened with Califia Farms' creamer that's made from coconut cream and almond milk. There's no need to really sweeten the rice pudding since the chamomile gives it a bright and fruity flavor while the peaches will bring their sweetness to each and every bite you take.
I'm thankful that I now appreciate peaches because they make desserts such as these a heavenly experience.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this dessert,
- Add a little bourbon or whiskey or even rum to the peaches before you brûlée them. two to three tablespoons should be enough.
- Experiment with darker raw brown sugar varieties such as jaggery or palm sugar for a smokier flavor.
- I don't add any sugar to the rice pudding because there really is no need to. The peaches are sweet and get a little sugar that creates a rich sweet sauce when they're in the oven that I found to sweeten the rice pudding.
- I use a tea ball to steep the rice as it boils and cooks so the flavor of the chamomile infuses into the rice and it also makes it easy to get rid of the flowers after they're infused.
- I've not sweetened the rice pudding but you can do it, if you like it a little sweeter. I prefer the taste of a concentrated burst of sweetness from the peaches with the unsweetned rice pudding because you get to taste the flavor of the rice in the dessert.
- You can adjust the amount of creamer based on how thick you want the consistency of the pudding to be.
peach brûlée with chamomile infused rice pudding
yields: 4 servings
2 large peaches, peeled and cut into wedges
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or melted unsalted butter if not vegan)
2/3 cup basmati rice
1 1/2 cups cold tap water
1/4 cup packed dried chamomile flowers
300 mL Califia Farms Better Half Creamer (Coconut Cream and Almond Milk)
1. Place a wire rack at the upper level in the oven and set the broiler to low. Take a gratin or baking dish and sprinkle the peaches with the brown sugar and coconut oil. Coat evenly and broil for about 10 minutes until the peaches start to caramelize. Remove from oven and keep on a wire rack to cool.
2. Place the basmati rice and water in a medium-sized stockpot. Place the chamomile flowers inside a tea ball or a boquet garni bag. Heat on high heat until the water starts to boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to cook for about 30 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and the rice is soft and tender. Stir and mash the rice a little and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from stove, cover with a lid and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Fold in the creamer and allow to sit for at least 1 hour before serving. Divide the rice pudding mixture equally between four serving bowls and garnish with generous amounts of the brûléed peaches and some of the reserve sauce. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Califia Farms. However all opinions expressed are solely my own.