Winter Dessert: Rice Pudding with Blood Oranges

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I'm here!  I know my posting schedule has been a little topsy-turvy lately, and I apologize!  I feel like learning the ropes of this whole blogging thing is just a never-ending process.  Just when I think I have the hang of it, another curveball comes my way!

After the holiday season, I decided to scale back to a two post per week schedule, and I was originally thinking Mondays and Thursdays would be perfect.  But after all the fun and crazy activity this past weekend, I got to thinking that maybe Tuesdays and Fridays would be better.  That way I can keep my weekends relatively open for quality time with family.  So, I had a fabulous chocolate Valentine's Day post all planned out for yesterday, but ended up getting snowed in for a day and a half, and short of one ingredient!  Gah!

Rice Pudding with Blood Oranges in Vanilla Cardamom Syrup | Baking a Moment

So here I am, a day late, and with a completely different recipe than I had originally intended.  At least it's a good one though, right?

Rice Pudding with Blood Oranges in Vanilla Cardamom Syrup | Baking a Moment

Do you like rice pudding?  Isn't it so old-fashioned and homey?  I actually never even had it until I was an adult.  Can you believe that?  But when I tried homemade rice pudding for the first time, it was love at first bite!  It's soooo comforting!  I just adore the creamy vanilla with the barest hint of cinnamon...  It reminds me a little bit of crème brulee but with a little more bite and a lot less pretension ;)

This version gets amped up with the most gorgeous fruit that this frosty cold season has to offer: blood oranges!  They're in stores now, so stock up while you can!  With all the snow, sleet, ice, white and gray, it's such a breath of fresh air to feast our eyes on their vibrant, garnet color!

Just cut away the peel and slice them thickly.  Place them in a pot with some sugar and water and a few cardamom pods.  The cardamom adds a little exotic flavor and warm spice.  It's a great compliment!  Vanilla bean paste rounds out the flavor and brings a hint of floral sweetness.

Blood Oranges in Vanilla Cardamom Syrup | Baking a Moment

The rice pudding is as simple as bubbling some plain rice in milk, butter and sugar.  After the rice soaks up all that goodness, the pudding is enriched with egg and spiked with vanilla and cinnamon.  I love to eat it warm!  But my hubby prefers it ice-cold.  Either way...!

Rice Pudding with Blood Oranges in Vanilla Cardamom Syrup | Baking a Moment

This recipe is a great way to use up any dried-up, old, leftover rice from Chinese takeout.  I didn't happen to have any, so I just steamed my rice in a pot with salted water and then spread it out on a plate to cool and dry out a bit.

Rice Pudding with Blood Oranges in Vanilla Cardamom Syrup | Baking a Moment

Don't you just love the contrast of bright, saturated color against all the creamy white? It tastes just as good as it looks, friends! The warm rice pudding is like a soft hug and the bright citrus is so bracing. And I really like the added crunch from a little sprinkling of toasted pistachios.

Rice Pudding with Blood Oranges in Vanilla Cardamom Syrup | Baking a Moment

*Please visit Baking a Moment to view the full post and download the recipe*

Rice Pudding with Blood Oranges in Vanilla Cardamom Syrup | Baking a Moment

I hope you get your hands on some blood oranges, so you can try this fabulous dessert!  It's such a fun twist on a classic, but really easy to make.  If you're looking for a great way to use those gorgeous blood oranges, you can't beat this comforting winter treat!

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