I have a long love affair with rice pudding—beginning with my great-grandmother Babcia‘s homemade version, evolving into a Kozy Shack obsession, and more recently arriving at this dairy-free version which is easier on my lactose-intolerant tummy. Make it now, before the last-of-summer peaches disappear!
Makes about 4 cups, 4–6 servings
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 cup medium-grain white rice (such as arborio)
- 1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 ⅔ cups water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 6 large yellow peaches (about 1 ½ pounds)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ cup (about 1 ½ ounces) sliced almonds, toasted
Making the simple syrup
- Combine the water, sugar, and star anise in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil and cook just until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat. Be sure not to overcook, or you’ll end up with candy instead of simple syrup.
- Set aside to cool and allow the star anise to infuse into the syrup.
Prepare the rice pudding
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to be sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid set ajar to allow steam to escape.
- Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, the rice is cooked, and the pudding is creamy.
Prepping the peaches
- While the pudding simmers, prepare the peaches. Slice the peaches. Heat the coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until shimmering, then add the peach slices in a single layer (cook in batches if needed).
- Cook the peaches quickly, about 1-2 minutes per side, so that they are caramelized on the outside but still retain their shape. They will stick a bit; use a firm spatula to scrape them up and flip them.
- Once all the peaches are cooked, return them all to the pan, turn off the heat, and add one-third of the simple syrup.
- While the syrup sizzles and reduces a bit, use a spatula to scrape up any stuck-on bits from the bottom of the pan. Leave the pan to cool with the peaches in it.
Putting it all together
- When the rice pudding is done, mix in half of the remaining simple syrup and stir well to combine.
- Serve the pudding in bowls or parfait dishes, topped with the peaches and a sprinkling of toasted almonds.
- Serve the remaining simple syrup in a small pitcher for diners to drizzle as they choose.