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Rice Pudding With Chai Spice & Saffron Apricots

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“I love rice pudding, and this one looks really good. I am hoping this will be good enough to convert my BF to a pudding lover as well. From NYT Magazine, 2/3/08.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. The day before serving, soak rice in water overnight and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a small heatproof dish, dry the saffron in the oven for 2 minutes. Tip saffron onto a square of wax paper and crush into a powder with the back of a spoon.
  2. Place apricots in a small heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water, 1 T sugar, and the saffron to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, stir in the brandy and pour the liquid over the apricots. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature overnight.
  3. The next day, drain the rice. Combine the milk, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a 3-qt saucepan. Scald the milk over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat when the bubbles begin to collect around the edge and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain, return to the pan and keep warm over low heat.
  4. Heat the rice in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add about 3/4 cup of the warm milk, stirring constantly until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Continue adding milk by the ladlefull and stirring, until the rice is tender to the bite, 15-20 minutes. On the last addition of milk, leave most of the milk unabsorbed. (The mixture shoul be very soupy; you may not need all of the milk.).
  5. Pour the pudding into a 1-quart baking dish. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the pudding. Chill for at least 2 hours.
  6. Before serving, let the pudding sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, using a slotted spoon, transfer the apricots to a cutting board and roughly chop. Stir them back into the bowl with their juices.
  7. To serve, mix the pudding and portion into 4 small bowls. Top with saffron apricots and juices.

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