Unsweetened pumpkin puree adds a nice beta-carotene wallop to this lightly sweetened rice pudding.
7 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
3 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups Arborio or other short-grain rice
1 can (15 oz.) unsweetened pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. dark rum (optional)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1. In a heavy, large saucepan, combine milk, salt and nutmeg. Tie cloves and cinnamon in cheesecloth and add to pot; heat until bubbles begin to form.
2. Add rice, bring to a boil, and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is slightly tender but chewy, about 20 minutes.
3. Uncover and stir in pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and rum (if using). Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pudding thickens but some liquid remains, about 15 minutes (it will also thicken as it cools).
4. Discard spice bundle; stir in butter. To serve, sprinkle with brown sugar.