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Rajibydesign Rice PopsAlthough I’m not fond of eating rice, I do love rice pudding.  Growing up, we would have kheer (an Indian rice pudding) on all the special occasions, be it someone’s birthday, a good report card or even the first day of school (that was special to my mom!).  Now that it’s summer, I thought it would be fun to update the tradition by making pops using the rice pudding.  Although this recipe makes great rice pudding pops, it can also be used to make just rice pudding. I hope you enjoy!Rajibydesign Apricots

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, remove the tough outer layer and slice thinly
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled & minced
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, cut it lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons short-grain rice (a Japanese variety found at Asian supermarkets)
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots cut in 1/4″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar (nothing too fine)
  • Water as required in recipe (about 1 cup)

Preparation

  • Combine whole milk, coconut milk, cream, ginger, lemongrass, and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean using the knife you cut it with; add bean. Bring to a boil; remove from heat, cover, and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the rice and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl; let it stand for 10 minutes and drain the excess water.
  • Strain coconut-milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan. Add the rice and bring it all to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer (do not stir or rice will become too starchy) until rice is very tender, 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  • Stir in apricots and sugar. Divide mixture among 8 ice-pop molds. Freeze until beginning to set, 30-45 minutes. Insert a stick into each pop. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour longer.
  • You can freeze them for up to 2 weeks. You may also skip the molds, and just cool the mix to have the best rice pudding!
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