Lebanese Orange-Blossom Rice Pudding

Visits to my grandmothers house were always special and filled with love. We enjoyed long chats, old movies, Rummikub tournaments and unbelievable meals that she would spend all day making. I was always elated when she surprised me with her rice pudding for dessert, I felt her love in every bite. The creamy texture flavored with fresh and fragrant orange blossom water was one of the best memories of my childhood. Although meant to be enjoyed cold we often ate it right out of the pot.

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Orange Blossom Water along with Rose Water are very common flavorings for sweets such as baklava and milk and rice-based desserts in Lebanon. Both flavorings have a perfume like quality that can be very intoxicating and memorable.

Orange Blossom Water is extracted from the distillation of the flowers of bitter orange trees. These trees are also called bigarade or seville oranges or boosfeyr in Lebanon. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

In a medium pot bring 2 cups of water to a hard boil. Rinse the rice well under cool water until the water runs clear and add the rice to the boiling water, lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is tender and fluffy. In a large saucepan bring the milk to a gentle boil. If using cornstarch, dissolve it with a little of the hot milk and stir it into the pot of milk adding the rice and sugar. Boil gently until it thickens (approximately 20 minutes) stirring constantly to avoid scorching.

Remove from the heat and stir in the orange blossom water.

 

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Lebanese Orange-Blossom Rice Pudding

Orange Blossom Water can be purchased at Mediterranean specialty stores or by following this link.

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 Quart of Organic Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup of Long Grain Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Orange Blossom Water
  • 3 Tablespoons of Cornstarch (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot bring 2 cups of water to a hard boil.
  2. Rinse the rice well under cool water until the water runs clear and add the rice to the boiling water, lower the heat to a simmer.
  3. Cover and cook until the rice is tender and fluffy.
  4. In a large saucepan bring the milk to a gentle boil.
  5. If using cornstarch, dissolve it with a little of the hot milk and stir it into the pot of milk adding the rice and sugar. Boil gently until it thickens (approximately 20 minutes) stirring constantly to avoid scorching.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange blossom water.
  7. Pour into individual containers and refrigerate. Top with unsalted pistachios or almonds if desired.

Notes

Using cornstarch is completely optional and will simply result in a thicker pudding.

Coming soon!