"An old favourite of mine. Rich, velvety rice pudding works brilliantly with the slight sharpness of new season forced rhubarb. Grown in dark sheds in the ‘rhubarb triangle’ of Yorkshire it’s harvested by candlelight. Some say you can hear the rhubarb crowns creaking and growing as they force their way through the crowns. Be careful to not overcook it though. I like to add a hint of citrus zest and a wee kick of vanilla."
100g pudding rice
75g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
500mls whole milk, I use organic
400g Yorkshire rhubarb
Zest of half a lemon
Zest of half an orange
A liberal sprinkling of sugar
A splash of cream
A knob of butter
Heat oven to 180°C.
Place the milk in a thick-bottomed pot on the hob. Add the rice and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Then add the vanilla seeds. Keep the pod for the rhubarb.
Bring this mixture to just below the boil, stirring every minute or so. Be careful not to burn the milk or to let the rice stick to the bottom of the pan. It will take around 20 minutes for the rice to soften. Add a touch of cream and butter to enrich the pudding if you like.
Meanwhile, top and tail the rhubarb and give it a good wash. Cut it into roughly 1-inch pieces and place on a baking tray with sides. Add the citrus zests, the vanilla pod and a liberal sprinkling of sugar. Place in the oven until the rhubarb is soft and the sugar has created a wonderful syrup. Allow to cool slightly.
To serve, divide the pudding between four warmed bowls and top with the rhubarb.