Sunday, July 18, 2010

Evangeline enjoys solar cooked rice pudding!! YUM!!

Here is Evangeline, my latest hand made Teddy Bear, enjoying her very first bowl of Rice Pudding made with solar energy...in Maine!! Evangeline likes her Rice Pud the British way - cold with a nice dollop of Cheery, or even Cherry Preserves! Any flavour of jam will do but we only had Cherry today so that's what we had!!
The first most important part of today's recipe is a nice clear sky, very little breeze and preferably high temps to increase the cooking speed.
My very own solar cooker sitting on a chair on the deck at the front of the house. The solar cooker needs to be facing directly towards the sun and in our hemisphere that means turning a little every now again to keep up with the direction.
Here is the rice after having been in the cooker for about 1 hour...for this recipe it doesn't have to be completely cooked at this point.
The finished pud...doesn't this look just like Rice Pudding...even down to the crackly skin, a part I loathed as a child but now enjoy!!!! And look how good it looks below...with a drizzling of local honey.....it is SO GOOD, super creamy I think because it cooked so slowly for so long.....
THE RECIPE...so simple
1 cup white rice...I used basmati long grain because of it's fragrant nature but I think any white rice will do...but I may be wrong
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs beaten til smooth...no gruddy lumpy bits please!!
1 tablespoon vanilla essence/extract
A goodly grating of fresh nutmeg
FOR A NORMAL COOKING SITUATION:
1. Place rice in a heavy saucepan with enough water to cover, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for about 20 minutes (I put mine in the solar oven with lots of water to cover and it took about 1 hour to get to the point you see above in the 4th pic down...fluffy but not completely cooked.
2. Stir the 1/2 & 1/2, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla into the rice and cook over very low heat on the stove top for about another 20-25 minutes, until thick and the rice is very tender.....I left mine in the solar cooker for about another 1 1/2 hours.
3. Add a little of the warm rice to the eggs to help temper them and not scramble them when you add them to the body of the cooked rice.....add a little more and a little more and then stir the egg mixture quickly back into the main rice mix...again being careful not to let the eggs scramble. Place this egg, rice mix into an oven proof bowl and set into a 350F oven for another 30 minutes or so. I did the egg mixing part and then left the solar cooker out for about another 1 hour, the solar oven is certainly not an exact science and times will vary with temperature and wind so you just have to keep checking and eyeballing when you think the recipe is ready at the different stages. Thus the reason why I choose to do Rice Pudding instead of a souffle....but I bet someone somewhere has tried something difficult...let me know if you see something of that nature and I'll do a link to it here on my blog!!!!
4. Leave to cool and then bob in the fridge for a few hours 'til nice and chilly.
This is the best rice pudding I ever made and I didn't use one calorie of energy!! YEA!!!...oh except the fridge part...sorry!!
Happy Cooking with the sun!!


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Energy producing sculpture by James Strickland
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