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Corn Rice Pudding

At the helm of Charleston restaurant Tristan‘s after-dinner menu, Amanee Neirouz is known for her surprising pairings using unexpected ingredients. On her dessert menu for the restaurant’s special Thanksgiving Dinner is Pumpkin Pie with Grilled Vanilla Cream, Roasted Apple Pudding served with Toasted Walnut Ice Cream and a Goat Milk Cremeux garnished with Lemon Croutons. But on Neirouz’s own Thanksgiving table will be Corn Rice Pudding. The skin that forms on the top of pudding while it sets is her favorite part, and she likes to top the dish with caramel corn for extra crunch.

1 cup Carolina Gold Rice
1 1/2 cups water, cold

1 3/4 cups corn cream (recipe below)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, whipped
2 gelatin sheets, bloomed in an ice water bath for 3-4 minutes, or 1 tsp. unsweetened powdered gelatin
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water, stirring it with your hand until the water runs clear. Once the rice is thoroughly rinsed, put the rice and the water into an electric pressure cooker. Cook on high for 6 minutes. Once it’s cooked, remove rice from the pressure cooker into a medium to large mixing bowl. Set the rice aside and allow it to cool. If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can cook the rice on the stovetop by bringing the water to a boil and dropping the rice in. Bring it back up to a boil, cover it, reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, put your mixing bowl for your whipped cream into the freezer for about two or three minutes to get it nice and cold. Whip your cream and sugar to medium, soft peaks. Keep it chilled. In a small saucepan, gently warm the corn cream enough to dissolve the bloomed gelatin. Pour the cream and gelatin mixture over the rice and fold them together. Place the rice bowl over a slightly larger bowl filled with ice and stir continuously until the rice and cream have cooled. When the rice- corn mixture has cooled to a little less than room temperature, you can fold in your whipped cream.

Keep a piece of plastic directly on top of your pudding until it has set up to prevent any skin forming on the top. (Unless you’re like me, and that is your favorite part.) It will take about two hours in the refrigerator to set up and will be even better the next day. I like to add a little crunch and extra texture to mine by chopping up some caramel corn and sprinkling it on top.

Corn Cream
3 ears sweet corn
2 cups half and half
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp. Kosher salt

Clean all of the husk and as much of the silk off of the corn as you can. Roast the corn in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow the corn to cool then cut kernels from the corn. Scrape the cores with the back of the knife and place everything except the vanilla bean in a pot. Split the vanilla bean in half, scraping the guts and pods into the pot (if you don’t have vanilla bean, a teaspoon of extract will work, but you’ll want to add it after blending the other ingredients). Simmer for 10 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture boil. Pour into a heat-proof container, cover and steep for an hour. Remove the corn cores and vanilla pods. (You can rinse the pods and save them for a later use.) Once the liquid is cool enough, blend either in your blender or with an immersion blender until it is as smooth as you can get it. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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