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Arroz con Leche with Sangria Figs
and Cherries



 Stonewall Kitchen, LLC
Specialty & Gourmet Foods - Barefoot Contessa Pantry

“If God had not made brown honey, men would think
figs much sweeter than they do.”

~ Xenophanes

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Arroz con Leche with Sangria
Figs and Cherries

Daniel Boulud's
Cafe Boulud Cookbook:
French-American Recipes
for the Home Cook

Daniel Boulud, Dorie Greenspan, 1999,
Simon & Schuster Trade

"Inspired by the flavors of Spain, this rice pudding – arroz con leche – is
both nursery-dessert soothing and boldly flavored. The soothing part is the
pudding itself, Arborio rice lightly flavored with cinnamon, vanilla and
lemon. The punch comes from the poached fruit and syrup that serve as a
topping. I’ve based the syrup on Spain’s most popular summertime thirst
quencher, sangria, the sweetened red wine made lusty with the addition of
oranges and lemons, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla. And I use the syrup to
cook Black Mission figs and red cherries. It’s a marriage of opposites – the
pudding is cool and mellow, the topping is warm and wild – but it’s a
happy marriage.
This is a great party dessert because both the fruits and the pudding must
be made a day ahead. Right before you’re ready to serve, you have only to
boil the sangria down to a glaze and warm the fruits in it."

Makes 4 servings.

The fruit:
1/2 plump, moist vanilla bean
2 cups red wine, preferably
a full-bodied wine,
perhaps a Grenache
2/3 cup sugar
Three 1/4-inch-thick orange slices
Three 1/4-inch-thick lemon slices
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
8 medium Black Mission figs
12 fresh sweet cherries, pitted

1. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and, using the back of the
knife, scrape the pulp out of the pod. Put the pulp and pod into
a medium saucepan along with all the other ingredients except
the figs and cherries; bring to the boil. Pull the pan from the
heat, cover, and allow to infuse for 10 minutes.
2. Uncover the pan, return it to medium heat, and bring to the boil
again. Drop in the figs, lower the heat, and poach the figs at a
simmer for 3 minutes. Add the cherries and poach for just 2
minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and cool to
room temperature, then store, tightly covered, in the
refrigerator overnight.

The arroz con leche:
3/4 cup Arborio rice
Pinch of salt
3 cups whole milk
1 cinnamon stick
2/3 moist, plump vanilla bean, split
and scraped as above
1 strip lemon zest (pith removed)
3 tablespoons sugar

1. Line a baking pan or a shallow bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the rice, salt, and 1 cups water to
the boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the rice absorbs almost
all of the water. Meanwhile, stir the milk, cinnamon, vanilla bean
pod and pulp, and lemon zest together in a small saucepan and
warm over medium heat.
3. Add 1/2 cup of the warm milk to the rice and cook, stirring constantly
with a wooden spoon, until the rice has just about absorbed the milk.
Add another 1/2 cup milk and cook, stirring, until it is almost all ab-
sorbed. (Work just as if you were making a risotto.) When all the milk
has been added, continue to cook – stirring without stopping – until
the rice is creamy, not soupy. Stir in the sugar and pull the pan from
the heat.
4. Immediately spread the rice pudding over the plastic-lined pan or bowl
in a thin layer. Top with another piece of plastic wrap, pressing the
wrap against the pudding to create an airtight seal. Chill in the refrig-
erator, then, when the pudding is cool, remove the cinnamon stick,
vanilla bean, and lemon zest. (The pudding can be made up to 8
hours ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.)

To finish:
1. Spoon the figs and cherries out of the sangria syrup and keep them
aside. Strain the syrup into a saucepan, bring to the boil, and boil
until the sangria is reduced to 1/2 cup glaze.
2. Lower the heat under the glaze and add the figs and cherries to the
pan. Basting constantly, cook until the fruit is warm and covered
with a thick, shiny coating of glaze. Remove the pan from the heat
and set the fruit and glaze aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes,
basting the fruit frequently with the glaze during this time.

To serve:
Spoon an equal amount of chilled rice pudding into each of four
small bowls. Cut the figs lengthwise in half. Make a small hollow
in the center of each pudding and, for each serving, spoon in 4
warm fig halves and 3 cherries. Drizzle with some of the warm
sangria glaze and serve.

To drink: Setubal, like Madeira, a Spanish fortified wine

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