This is wonderful, warm rice pudding recipe for the conclusion of a wonderful Autumn or Winter meal with your family.
The only special equipment you'll need for this recipe is a group (8) of ramekins to bake the pudding in.
1/3 cup of dried Cranberries
1/3 cup of Raisins
¼ cup of dried Currants
1/3 cup of other Dried Fruit of choice, very finely chopped (dried apricot, plum or peach work nicely)
½ cup of Brandy (a peach brandy or other sweeter brandy works best)
2 cups of Whole Milk
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup of White Rice, short grain
½ teaspoon of salt
1 1/3 cup Milk
1 1/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
3 whole Eggs
2 Egg Yolks
1/3 cup of Sugar
½ teaspoon of Cinnamon
½ teaspoon of Nutmeg, freshly ground
1/8 teaspoon of Cloves, ground
1/8 teaspoon of Allspice
½ teaspoon of Vanilla
Combine the cranberries, raisins, currants, and dried fruit in a bowl, and add the Brandy, and soak for about 2 or 3 hours until the fruit has soaked up all of the brandy.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the 2 cups of milk and 1 cup heavy cream in a sauce pan, and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Stir in the rice and the salt; reduce the heat to a low and cook covered for about 20 minutes until the rice is cooked. Leave the rice in the saucepan remove from the stove and set the rice aside.
Butter 8 1-cup ramekins. In a 2 or 2 1/2 quart sauce pan, combine the 1 and 1/3 cup of whole milk and 1 and 1/3 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream. Place that mixture on the stove and scald it (heat but do not let it boil because you do not want the mixture to curdle), remove it from the heat and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar until light fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Slowly whisk in the cream and milk mixture once it has cooled slightly -- be careful to do so slowly (to avoid cooking the eggs and resulting in scrambled eggs). Add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and vanilla to the mixture whisk to mix into the mixture for about 1 minute.
Fold in the rice and fruit mixture and fill the ramekins to about a ½ inch from the top of the ramekin. Place the ramekins in a baking dish and add hot water around the ramekins in the baking dish, to reach up about 1 inch from the top of the ramekins. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the ramekins from the water and set aside to let cool. To unmold, run a knife around the inside of each ramekin, then invert over the dessert plate and shake if necessary. Serve as is or drizzle a caramel brandy sauce on top.