This is my favorite time of year and Halloween is the cherry on top of the proverbial pie. Across cultures, we let our guards down and welcome the unpredictable, otherworldly and unknown into our lives–if only for a night. In my neighborhood, the shops line their shelves with golden flor de muerto, buttery pan de muerto and buckets of the traditional cookie offering for deceased relatives and loved ones. In fact, my whole area comes alive, the main street shuts down and the shops swing open their doors–hiring people in costumes to line the avenue, hand out candy and celebrate death with the local children.
In celebration of the night when the veil between the worlds is thinnest, I’ve created this Wicked Rice Pudding with Blood Orange Compote–a grown up version of the candy I used to haul home in those bright plastic pumpkins. A little dark, a little sinister and a little gory (in wordplay only–but still!) this dessert is perfect for sharing with your ghoulish friends.
Wicked Rice Pudding with Blood Orange Compote
1 cup forbidden rice
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. blood orange zest
4 tbsps. full fat coconut milk
Blood Orange Compote
3 blood oranges, peeled and divided into sections
1/4 cup water
3 tbsps. honey
pinch of cinnamon
1/3 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
For the Rice Pudding: Bring the forbidden rice, water and 1 cup of the light coconut milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cook for 30 minutes. Stir in the remaining light coconut milk, full fat coconut milk, orange zest and honey until well incorporated and cook an additional 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, allowing some of the liquid to be absorbed by the rice.
For the Blood Orange Compote: Combine all of the ingredients, except for the pistachios, in a small saucepan. On high heat, bring the mixture to a boil stirring occasionally to break apart some of the orange sections to help release the juices. Cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid in the pan has reduced by about one third.
To Serve: Spoon 2/3 cup rice pudding into four bowls, evenly divide the compote among the four portions (including the liquid, it’s the best part!) and top with the pistachios.