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R(ice) Cream

R(ice) Cream
Pat Tanumihardja for NPR

This recipe is based on David Lebovitz's rice gelato (gelato di riso) recipe in his book The Perfect Scoop (Ten Speed Press 2007). Instead of Italian Arborio rice, I used Japanese sweet rice (mochigome). This short-grain glutinous rice is fat and opaque when raw. Once cooked, it turns translucent and clumps together. Available at Asian markets, glutinous rice's mildly sweet flavor is excellent in desserts and gives the ice cream a creamy, sticky texture interspersed with whole grains of rice. If unavailable, stick to Lebovitz's original recipe and use Arborio rice.

Makes 6 servings

1/2 cup Japanese sweet rice (or Thai glutinous rice)

3 cups whole milk

3/4 cup sugar, divided

Pinch of salt

1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise

5 large egg yolks (save the whites for use later)

1 cup half-and-half or cream

Pinch of nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a 2 to 2 1/2-quart baking dish, mix together the rice, milk, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Add the vanilla bean.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the rice from the oven and remove the foil. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then continue to bake the rice, uncovered for another 30 minutes.

Remove the rice from the oven a second time, and remove the milk skin that has formed on the surface, followed by the vanilla bean. Immediately whisk in the egg yolks briskly. Then whisk in the half-and-half and nutmeg.

Whirl half the rice mixture in a blender or food processor until pureed (when you can't see anymore whole rice grains). Stir it back into the rest of the cooked rice, mixing thoroughly.

Chill the mixture in the refrigerator, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

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