Recipe courtesy of Santos Loo

Bruleed Banana and Pumpkin Rice Pudding

Just in time for the fall, this easy recipe for rice pudding includes that one ingredient I crave all year long: pumpkin! This quick rice pudding doesn’t just taste great--it looks great, too, with its creamy not-to-sweet orange-colored rice, plump raisins and topping of caramelized bananas, aka bruléed bananas. It will make you look like a pro chef just in time for the holidays.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

Directions

Special equipment:
Six 6-ounce broiler-proof ramekins and a kitchen torch (optional)
  1. Combine the rice and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until most of the water is absorbed and the rice is mostly cooked through but still has a bite to it, about 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the milk, pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon stick and salt. Let the mixture reach a steady simmer and maintain that steady simmer through completion of the recipe.
  3. When the rice finishes cooking in the microwave, add it and any remaining liquid to the simmering milk mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is completely tender and the pudding thickens, 12 to 14 minutes. Slow, large bubbles will rise to the top towards the end of cooking.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat, discard the cinnamon stick and divide the pudding between six 6-ounce broiler-proof ramekins. Refrigerate until completely cool, about 30 minutes. The pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.
  5. When ready to serve, arrange a rack in the top position of the oven and heat the broiler on high (see Cook’s Note).
  6. Place a single layer of sliced bananas on top of each pudding. Evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the top of each pudding. Broil until the sugar forms a hard, caramel layer, about 30 seconds, checking every 10 seconds. Serve. 

Cook’s Note

Cooking the rice in the microwave allows you to make this dessert in half the time compared to traditional rice pudding recipes. You can also use a kitchen torch to brulée the tops of the puddings. Propane gas torches are highly flammable and should be kept away from heat, open flame and prolonged exposure to sunlight. They should be used only in well-ventilated areas. Follow torch manufacturer's instructions for use.