Italian Rice Creams with Gooseberry and Elderflower Puree
For those who get nostalgic for the rice puddings of their childhood, this is the adult answer, a more sophisticated and modern interpretation.
Later on in the summer different fruits can be used for the purée – blackcurrants, raspberries or redcurrants, or any other combination.
This recipe is from Delia's Summer Collection. Serves 6
First pour the milk into a saucepan and add the sugar, nutmeg and lemon zest.
Stir and bring everything up to simmering point, then add the rice, giving it several good stirs. Then turn the heat down to its very lowest setting, put a lid on and leave it for about 40-50 minutes, giving it a stir every now and again. If you heat is not low enough you may need to use a heat diffuser.
What you need to end up with is a mixture where most of the liquid has been absorbed. About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, measure the cream into a jug and whisk the gelatine into it to soak.
Then, when the rice is ready, pour the cream and gelatine mixture into it, followed by the egg yolk, butter and vanilla extract, and stir to mix everything very thoroughly, still keeping the heat very low. When it is all heated through – after about 2 minutes – remove from the heat and pour the mixture into the ramekins. Leave them to cool completely, then cover with clingfilm and chill till needed.
To make the gooseberry and elderflower purée, simply place the gooseberries and sugar in a saucepan over a very gentle heat. Cover with a lid and allow the gooseberries to come up to simmering point to release their juices. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until the skins are soft. Then put the whole lot into a blender and whiz to a purée, or else press through a nylon sieve. When cool, stir in the cordial, then cover and chill till needed.
To turn out the rice creams, slide a small palette knife round the edges and ease away from the sides using your finger. Invert on to small serving plates by giving a hefty shake. Serve with gooseberry and elderflower purée poured over, and garnish with sprigs of mint.