Banana Rice Pudding
Yield 6-8 servings | Prep Time 15 minutes | Cook Time 30 minutes
1 cup of Congaree and Penn Middlins
4 cups of whole milk (+ 1 or 2 more cups if needed)
½ of a vanilla bean
½ stick (.25#) of butter
1 cup of organic Florida cane sugar
Kosher salt to taste
2 large bananas (or 3 small bananas)
2 lemons (juiced)
½ cup of almond slices
Fresh mint tops
Gently line a 3 quart saucepan with butter. This will prevent the milk from scalding on the bottom.
Peel and slice the bananas cross-wise into ¼” slices. In a small mixing bowl, gently dress the bananas with the lemon juice. This will prevent the bananas from browning while cooking.
Scrape the vanilla bean. Split the bean in half, lengthwise. Then, using the opposite end of the blade, scrape the pods from the inside of the vanilla bean, and set aside. Reserve the bean slices as well.
Pour the milk into the saucepan, add vanilla pods and bean slices, and warm until simmering over medium heat. Add remaining butter and stir with a wooden spoon. If the milk seems like it wants to foam and leave the pot, quickly remove the pot from heat, then return to heat once settled.
Add sugar, salt, and middlins. Lower heat to low-medium, and simmer until rice is soft, anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Stir only from the bottom, and ONLY as often as necessary to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom. The more it's stirred, the stickier the pudding will be. The less it's stirred, the softer and fluffier the pudding. Add more milk if necessary.
Once the rice is soft, season with a 3-finger pinch of kosher salt, and stir in bananas. It's up to the chef whether to serve hot or cold. We like it cold in the summertime, with bananas and almonds. In the wintertime, it's great with spices like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, and orange syrup. For this recipe, we cool it in a casserole dish in the refrigerator. Once cool, scoop onto a plate and garnish with sliced almonds and a fresh mint top.
Recipe by Chef Trey Hartinger | Photos by Stefanie Keeler