Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding With Saucy Montmorency Tart Cherries

This tasty dessert won't crush your calorie count.

Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding
 Amanda Paa

These tart cherries are found in the frozen food aisle, and add a delicious punch of flavor and antioxidants to this traditional dessert.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 280; protein: 7g; fat: 5g; carbs: 52g

Recipe and photo by Amanda Paa of Heart Beet Kitchen, on behalf of the Cherry Marketing Institute

Prep time

20 min.

Cook time

75 min.

  • ⅓ cups and 2 Tbsp jasmine rice
  • 4 cups of whole or 2% milk (do not go less than that in terms of fat)
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ of one vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 1½ cups frozen Montmorency tart cherries, thawed
  • 3 Tbsp of tart cherry juice from thawing
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 315°.

In a large gratin dish (holds at least 6 cups), combine rice, milk, maple syrup, salt, and seeds of vanilla bean. Stir to combine, and set vanilla bead pod on top.

Bake for 25 minutes, stir. Continue baking for 20 more minutes, then stir. At this point there will be a bit of skin that you can just stir back in. Cook until the rice plumps and starts to become a more noticeable part of the mixture, and the skin becomes more visible and darker—about 30 minutes more. Take the dish out, and set it on the counter. You will see that once it sits, even though you don’t think it’s done, it will start to sink in and thicken just from this short test.

Then put it back in the oven, and low-broil for 3 more minutes, until you get some brown spots on top. Take out and let cool for at least a half hour. Then serve with saucy cherries.

While the rice is baking, make the cherries. Add frozen tart cherries, honey, tart cherry juice, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring as you go so the cherries don’t stick to the bottom. Then dissolve the tapioca starch in water, and stir into mixture. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until thickened.