Honey Vanilla Rice-Pudding Crème Brulee
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup long-grain rice
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
- 2 large whole eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar - (firmly packed)
- Orange sections as an accompaniment
In a small saucepan bring the water to a boil, add the rice with a pinch of salt, and simmer it gently, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Transfer the rice to a small bowl and let it cool.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and butter a 9-inch (1-quart capacity) flameproof shallow baking dish. In the pan bring the milk and the cream just to a boil with the vanilla bean and remove the pan from the heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk mixture and discard the pod (or reserve it for another use).
In a bowl whisk together the whole eggs, the egg yolks, the honey, the cinnamon and the salt and combine well. Add the milk mixture in a stream, whisking, and pour the custard into the baking dish. Transfer the baking dish to a baking pan, add enough hot water to the pan to reach halfway up the side of the dish, and bake the custard in the middle of the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until it is set completely. Transfer the custard to a rack, let it cool, and chill it, covered, for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, preheat the broiler, blot the top of the custard dry with a paper towel, and force the brown sugar through a coarse sieve onto the top of it, covering it evenly. Put the baking dish in a baking pan filled with ice and broil the custard about 2 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the brown sugar is melted and crisp (be careful not to let the brown sugar burn). Let the crème brulee cool in the pan of ice for 3 minutes and serve it, cut into wedges, with the orange sections.
This recipe yields 8 to 10 servings.