Tender wild rice is suspended in a maple-sweetened custard and accented with sautéed apples and dried cherries--a dish that proves that comfort food can be exciting, too.
If you make the wild rice a day ahead, store it airtight in the refrigerator so it doesn’t dry out.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 6 ramekin cups (4-ounce size).
2. Whisk eggs, half & half, maple syrup and cinnamon in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in dried cherries and wild rice. Divide mixture into ramekins. Place on baking sheet. Bake until barely set, 35-40 minutes. The puddings may still look slightly wet on top, but any remaining liquid will seep back into the pudding. Let them stand for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the apples.
3. Apples: Heat butter in sauté pan over medium flame. Add apples and sauté until partially tender, about 2 minutes. Add cider and cherries; raise heat to high and cook, stirring often, until cider is reduced to a glaze and apples are tender.
4. To serve: Run a knife around the edges of each pudding. Invert puddings onto individual serving plates. Spoon apples around puddings. If you wish, add a dollop of yogurt alongside each pudding. Serve immediately.
Note: The rice pudding can also be baked casserole-style in one large baking dish. Dried cranberries or raisins can stand in for the cherries.
Copyright by Terese Allen