There's one pudding (yes, just one) that I have really never liked at all, ever. Loathed it. We had it a fair bit when I was young but the thought of it made me feel ill with dread all through the meal. Back then it was a case of 'you are not leaving the table until you've eaten it' so you can imagine me sitting there for hours and hours, wishing and hoping that it would magically disappear, slowly shovelling the smallest amounts into my downturned mouth, trying to force it down. Even today, I shudder when I think about it, such was the horror of the... Rice Pudding.
It was the really thick, absolutely black tar-like canvas-feel topping it had as it emerged from the oven that made me quake. I've heard other people say for them, this is the best bit, but it made me want to heave then, and now, just thinking about it! I didn't want it anywhere near my plate, or my mouth. There's no rhyme or reason for it I suppose. Thankfully Fanny seems to share the repulsion, with her recipe for a colourful, fruity alternative which does not have the 'tarpaulin top' that gives me the heebeegeebees.
Fanny makes her version by mixing Patna Rice with sugar, vanilla, fresh (or tinned) orange juice and ordinary tap water before baking under a light covering of ordinary domestic foil in a medium oven. Fanny doesn't specify a time for this, just until 'it reaches the consistency you like.' Clearly she hasn't been listening, I don't like the consistency at all. I struggled to find pudding rice in the supermarket - clearly I've never searched for it, ever, but I'd assumed it would be easy enough to find. Perhaps the whole world shares my feelings about rice pudding? I did spot some Thai Sticky Rice which said it was ideal for puddings though... Rats, there was no escaping this one!
To spice up the rice a little, I added a few drops of luscious Cardamom Holy Lama Spice Drops which I was very kindly sent recently. Orange and Cardamom are a celestial match. The drops are divine, really intense and as the name suggest, you only need a drop or two. For a pudding like this it seemed to make sense rather than adding ground spices. The heavenly smells coming from my kitchen are making me think that perhaps Rice Pudding might not be so bad after all?
Nothing with Fanny is ever that straightforward, so while the pudding is baking I whip up an accompaniment in the shape of Fried Breaded Bananas. As their name suggests, they are bananas cut down the centre ('because they look prettier'), rolled in beaten egg and enclosed in breadcrumbs before frying. Fanny arranges them in a fan display with a nut on the end, for no apparent reason. They taste like you'd imagine. They don't distract me long from the dreaded rice pudding though - but I needn't have worried. It surfaces without the dreaded tarpaulin top, and retains its orange glow - no black in sight. It's like a jammy marmalade-y risotto consistency, and with the kick of warm cardamom is, erm, lovely really. Just don't make me have that black-topped heavy duty tarpaulin stuff ever again.