Vanilla Risotto with Oven Roasted Pears

Sunday 15 December 2013

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Risotto doesn't always have to be a savory dish.  It can just as easily be a sweet and delious type of  pudding.  Something like this Vanilla Risotto here today.  People can be a little put off and afraid of making risotto . . .fearing that it is a bit too complicate or time consuming, but it really isn't.

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It does require constant attention however, but so long as you stay with it and do what the recipe says, you will always be rewarded at the end with something quite silky and delicious, with just a tiny bit of bite.

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This risotto is not overly sweet . . . the only sweetening being a bit of honey . . . it's nicely flavoured with vanilla . . . and just a hint of ground cinnamon and ground cardamom.  Warm sweet spices that go so well with both vanilla and pears . . .

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Oh yes . . . the pears.  Oven roasted until just tender and then peeled . . . the oven roasting bringing out their natural sweetness.   Tender and sweet, sitting in an ocean of that delicious vanilla risotto.  Impressive.  Simple.  Delicious.  What more could a person ask for?

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*Vanilla Risotto with Oven Roasted Pears*
Serves 4

A deliciously simple vanilla risotto, sweetened with honey and served with oven roasted fresh pears. 

1 tsp Vanilla paste
(Alternately use 1/2 a vanilla pod)
500 ml of full fat milk (a generous 2 cups)
100ml single cream (scant 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 TBS unsalted butter 
175g of arborio rice (scant 3/4 cup)
2 TBS Orange Liqueur (Grands Marnier or Cointreau)
4 TBS liquid honey
pinch ground cardamon
pinch ground cinnamon
4 firm medium sized pears 
(You may need a bit of additonal milk)
a drizzle of warm honey and a dusting of cinnamon to finish 

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Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Place the pears into a baking dish and roast until they are tender without being mushy.  This will take about 20 minutes. 

While the pears are roasting put the vanilla into a saucepan along with the milk and the cream.   Heat just to the boil.  Take off the heat immediately.   Set aside.

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Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.  Once it begins to foam add the rice.   Cook, stirring to toast the rice for several minutes.  Add the Orange Liqueur.  Let the rice absorb it.  Begin to add the heated milk/cream mixture, a small ladle full at a time, allowing the rice to absorb most of the milk before adding another ladle full until most of the milk is absorbed and the rice is slightly al dente with a creamy sauce. (You may need additional milk)  This will take about 25 minutes.    Add the honey into it towards the end of the cooking time, along with a pinch each of cardamon and cinnamon.  Taste and adjust as necessary, adding additional honey if need be.

Peel your pears and place one into each of four dessert dishes.  Spoon the  risotto around the pears.  Drizzle with some warm honey and dust with a bit of cinnamon.  Serve immediately.


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