Warm Vanilla Rice Pudding

Baking is a delicious way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Mark Holmes treats us every weekend here at Barbara-Jo's with various sweet delights he prepares. A couple of weekends ago it was the warm creamy comfort of sweet aromatic vanilla rice pudding with raspberries and thyme. The recipe is from the cookbook Maze by Jason Atherton. Maze is one of Gordon Ramsay's fine dining restaurants in London where Jason Atherton is the Executive Chef. If you didn't get a chance to taste this fine pudding last Sunday at the store, make it at home with the recipe below!

Warm Vanilla Rice Pudding
with raspberries and thyme (Serves 4-6)

500g whole milk 180g pudding rice
500g double cream 1 vanilla pod, split seeds scraped
135g caster sugar 2 large egg yolks
Put the milk, cream and 90g of the sugar into a heavy-based pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and immediately reduce the heat to a simmer. Tip in the rice and vanilla seeds and pod. Simmer very slowly for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the rice is tender, or cooked to your liking. Give the mixture a stir every once in a while to prevent the rice from catching and burning on the bottom of the pan.
Take the pan off the heat and remove the vanilla pod, then cover the surface with cling film and leave to stand for 15-20 minutes. The cling film will help prevent a skin from forming on top of the pudding.

Meanwhile, put the egg yolks and remaining 45g sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Using a hand-held electric whisk, beat the mixture until it is pale and thickened. Fold this through the rice pudding.
If serving warm, immediately spoon into warm bowls and top with the raspberries and thyme jam.

Raspberry and Thyme Jam(Makes about 200g)

500g raspberries
80g caster sugar
1 thyme sprig, leaves only
2tsp pectin
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring continuously to begin with to dissolve the sugar. Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until any juices released from the raspberries have evaporated and the raspberry mixture has taken on a jammy consistency. To test if the jam is ready, check the temperature with a sugar thermometer: it should register 104 degrees Celsius.
While still warm, push the jam through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard the seeds and thyme leaves. Leave to cool completely, cover the bowl with cling film and chill until ready to use.