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Apricot Rice Pudding Pops

June 12, 2013

A few weeks ago I finally purchased ice pop molds in anticipation of warm summer weather. Of course, the first ice pops that I decided to make over Memorial Day weekend weren’t something “normal” like strawberry; instead, I decided on this Asian-inspired recipe from the July 2012 issue of Bon Appetit. These are a bit more involved to make than just pureeing a bunch of ingredients together and freezing them: ginger and lemongrass have to steep in a hot milk/cream/coconut milk mixture, then the mixture has to be strained before adding the rice and cooking for another half hour.

…Rice in an ice pop? It sounds really weird, but the texture, along with the diced dried apricots, actually works really well in my opinion. These pops are also not overly sweet, which I like a lot. I prefer desserts with more varied flavors than just straight sugar, which is why I’m fairly picky about the types of cake frosting I use. There’s only ¼ cup of sugar in this entire recipe, so if you’re looking for the equivalent of colored frozen sugar water, these aren’t it. Definitely a more adult-friendly than kid-friendly recipe. :)

An FYI about quantity: The pop molds I bought from Tovolo are called “Groovy” and are a bit larger than traditional pop molds. This recipe said that it makes 8 pops, but it only filled 6 of the Tovolo molds.

Apricot rice pudding pops

Can be made up to 2 weeks ahead. Keep frozen until ready to serve.

Makes 8

Ingredients

  • 1  cup whole milk
  • 3/4  cup plus 2 tablespoons canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4  cup heavy cream
  • 1  lemongrass stalk, tough outer layer removed, thinly sliced
  • 1  tablespoon minced peeled ginger
  • 1/2  vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 3  tablespoons short-grain rice (such as arborio)
  • 1/4  cup ¼-inch pieces dried apricots
  • 1/4  cup sugar

Directions

  1. Combine milk, coconut milk, cream, lemongrass, ginger, and ½ cup water in a medium saucepan. If using vanilla bean, scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to a boil; remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. If using vanilla extract, stir in after steeping.
  2. Meanwhile, place rice and ½ cup water in a small bowl; let stand for 10 minutes (to soften and release some starch). Drain.
  3. Strain coconut-milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan. Add rice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer (do not stir or rice will become too starchy) until rice is very tender, 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  4. Stir in apricots and sugar. Divide mixture among ice-pop molds. Freeze until beginning to set, 30-45 minutes. Insert a stick into each pop. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour longer.

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