Vanilla rice pudding with poached pears

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A classic British pud done the proper way, George's rich, silky rice pudding is infused with comforting vanilla and comes adorned with softly poached pears. The puffed rice adds a welcome crunch, with the lemon balm (or thyme) garnish adding a light fresh acidity. 

Rice pudding is notorious for sticking to the pan and burning, which is why this dish is cooked using the Anolon X range, which boast both non-stick capabilities yet sear like stainless steel.

First published in 2021




Rice pudding

  • 400ml of whole milk
  • 425ml of double cream
  • 175g of caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 175g of pudding rice


To serve



Begin by poaching the pears. Pour the water, sugar, star anise and clove into a saucepan and bring to the boil. While you wait, peel, core and cut the pears into wedges. Cut a sheet of baking paper into a circle just big enough to cover the surface of the liquid (this is called a cartouche) and cut a small hole in the centre


Once the poaching liquid is boiling, add the pears, then cover the pan with the cartouche, ensuring the paper touches the surface of the liquid. Gently simmer the pears for 10-25 minutes, until tender throughout – the time needed will depend on the ripeness and size of the pears. Leave them to cool in the liquid


To make the rice pudding, bring the milk, cream and sugar to the boil. Split open the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the milk, then throw the pod in too

  • 400ml of whole milk
  • 425ml of double cream
  • 175g of caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod

Tip the rice into a good quality saucepan over a medium heat


Start adding the hot milk bit by bit, stirring regularly. As the rice begins to absorb the liquid keep adding more, keeping the heat at a gentle simmer. After around 40 minutes the rice should be tender, but keep tasting until you're happy with the texture and consistency (if you like an extra creamy rice pudding you may want to add a little more milk and/or cream)


While the rice pudding cooks, place a small, deep pan filled with vegetable oil over a high heat until it reaches around 200°C. Tip in the black rice – it should puff up almost immediately. Strain the rice out of the oil with a slotted spoon or fine sieve and drain on kitchen paper


To serve, divide the rice pudding between 4 bowls and top with a few wedges of pear. Garnish with the crisp rice and some lemon balm or lemon thyme

First published in 2021

After swapping a law degree for a career in the kitchen, George Farrugia's flavour-driven, classically rooted cooking has made him one of the UK's rising culinary stars.

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