Rice and apple pudding...

It's hard for me to define this dish. I remember it since I wass a child my Dad used to make it. It's great as an afternoon treat, warm dessert, but sometimes we would have it even as a light, sweet lunch. When I was older, I ate it sometimes as a breakfast, especially on cold, wintry mornings.

You can cut the apples into small pieces (like myself), as I like their texture in the rice, or great them, as it's normally done in Poland. A nice twist on the dish would be cooking rice in a coconut milk rather than cow's one, it won't be traditional Polish dish anymore, but another one which is equally delicious! Addition of apricots (which I don't add every time) and raisins, is totally my take on this sweet dessert, and both can be omitted - for more "authentic" taste.

How to make it...
- 200 g rice
- 600 ml milk
- pinch of salt
Apple filling:
- 4 big apples, peeled and deseeded, cut into small (about 1 cm) pieces
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 ready to eat dry apricots, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup raisins or sultanas
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 150 ml cream
- 70 g caster sugar
* all the spice quantities are changeable, so season to your taste

Boil the milk with a pinch of salt and add the rice. Simmer for about 13-15 minutes, stiriing ofetn to prevent burning. Take the pot out of the heat, cover with the lead and put aside for about 30 minutes.
Take a medium pan and melt the butter, add apples, apricots, raisins, sugar, spices and lemon juice. Fry for few minutes until apples start to soften. In a small bowl mix together the cream and sugar.
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Take an oven proof dish (like Pyrex) and grease it with some butter. Put half of the rice on the bottom of the dish, creating an even layer. Place all the apple mix on top of the rice, spreading evenly. Place the second half of the rice evenly on top of the fruit. Cover everything with the cream sauce, spreading it evenly on the whole surface, you can decorate the top with few slices of apple. Place in the hot oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until everything is baked, if you think it might burn, cover it during baking with some silver foil. Cool slightly and enjoy!


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