Baked Vanilla-Infused Peach Risotto

by Meeta Wolff

This chapter is a free excerpt from What's For Lunch, Honey?.

The kitchen is my refuge, and old fashioned sweet desserts my comfort. When things are up and down, and the road does not quite take you where you had initially planned to go, taking time out to reassess your plan is usually a good idea. But on occasion, instead of tending to my responsibilities, I do the ostrich and bury my head in the sand; instead of doing what is really necessary, I do the unnecessary. I bake!

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The kitchen is my refuge, and old fashioned sweet desserts my comfort. When things are up and down, and the road does not quite take you where you had initially planned to go, taking time out to reassess your plan is usually a good idea. But on occasion, instead of tending to my responsibilities, I do the ostrich and bury my head in the sand; instead of doing what is really necessary, I do the unnecessary. I bake!

This sweet treat is the result of one such weekend. My take on a basic classic rice pudding was adding beaten egg white to give it volume and fluffiness, and slices of fresh peach to give it a taste of fruity summer. The result was a wonderful warm dessert with all the comforts of classic rice pudding, but with the excitement of an innovative, classy dessert.

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC (about 390ºF). Lightly butter 6 small or 1 large oven-proof dish(es).
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring milk, 20g sugar, and the vanilla innards plus the bean to a boil. Add the risotto rice and covered allow the mixture to simmer gently for approximately 30 minutes. Stir often to ensure that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Allow to cool.
  1. Using an electric whisk, beat egg white and the pinch of salt in a clean bowl until stiff peaks form. Sprinkle 30g sugar into the egg white and beat for a further minute.
  1. In a separate bowl, whisk 30g butter, 30g sugar, and the egg yolks until thick and creamy (approximately 5 minutes). Mix into the warm rice mixture.
  1. Gently fold in the egg whites and the peach slices into the mixture.
  1. Divide the mixture into the oven-proof dishes. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and the mixture has set. Make sure that the baked risotto does not over-cook in the oven, as it will dry out. The end result should be a firm but creamy mixture.
  1. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve warm.
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