What do you do after picking boxes and boxes of pears? Make Spiced Pear and Ginger Rice Pudding of course! If I was ever sorry summer was ending, I’m over it now. Autumn, with your pears and spices and warm fruity desserts, you are welcome at my house. Even my summer loving kids had such a fun time picking pears one evening last week and are ready to fully embrace the new season.
Picking pears with my kids was a revelation. The commonly cited parenting maxim says that the days are long, but the years are short. This often serves as a reminder to parents that these days, perhaps frustrating and long and exhausting days, with young children will pass all too quickly. The years are short, it’s true. Sometimes, however, the long days are the best part.
Sometimes it’s not a long day of mediating sibling squabbles, finding mismatched socks, and cajoling kids into eating one more bite pretty please. Every now and then, the hours stretch into a day of sunshine, and laughter, and tree swings. And you still fall into bed at night exhausted, but as your head hits the pillow, your first prayer is of thanks.
Yes the years are short, so very short. But thank goodness for all the long days.
This Spiced Pear and Ginger Rice Pudding comes from a day that stretched into a perfect Autumn evening. It comes from a golden September sun that turned every pear we picked into a treasure. It comes from tired arms, the hum of bees and lawnmowers, and the cool green grass we rested in. This pudding is filled with all the joy of tree swings, and hammocks, and sweet juicy pears eaten beneath the branches that orchestrated it all.
This is no ordinary rice pudding and it wouldn’t be right for me not to tell you about the spiced pears and the creamy rice and all the happiness.
It was a perfect day. It is also a perfect pudding. For one thing, it’s Autumn in a bowl: golden and spiced, sauced with warm, maple pears. If you can get your hands on some pears, this is just the thing for September.
- 1½ cups water
- ¾ cup basmati rice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2 large ripe, but firm, pears, cored and diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- In a large saucepan, combine water, rice, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat and simmer covered until water is mostly absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in milk, cream, sugar, and spices. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and stir them in with the pod.
- Cook over medium heat, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until mixture is thick and creamy. Remove from heat.
- While the rice and cream mixture is cooking, melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the pears, cinnamon, and syrup and saute for about 5 minutes, or until pears are soft and warm. Stir in the balsamic vinegar.
- Spoon the warm, sauteed pears with sauce over the rice pudding and enjoy warm.
This recipe was in part, inspired by Katie’s Spiced Pear and Pomegranate Crostini, which is another delicious way to eat your pears. I also have my eye on Aimee’s Extra Crispy Pear Lavender Crisp.