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Jasmine Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries

Jasmine Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries
T. Susan Chang for NPR /

It's hard to get reputable pistachios because of the recent nut scare, so I'm omitting them these days. But once it blows over, I'm going to go right back to using them, because they're delightful in this recipe, which is from Zov by Zov Karamardian (Zov's Publishing 2005). Warning: I have never once made this recipe without having to eat several spoonfuls right out of the pot while it's cooking. It's just that good.

Makes 8 servings

2 cups water

1 cup uncooked jasmine rice

4 cups whole or low-fat milk

2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

2 cups assorted fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries)

1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios (optional)

Combine water and rice in a large, heavy-based pot. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, lower the heat and simmer until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 12 minutes.

Stir in the milk, cream and sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the rice mixture, then add the bean as well. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking over low heat, stirring often, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 35 minutes. (The mixture will look like cooked oatmeal when finished.) Remove the vanilla bean.

Pour the hot pudding into a large bowl and immediately cover it with plastic wrap so it doesn't form a skin. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

Spoon berries over the pudding. Sprinkle pistachios, if using, and serve.

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