Just when mulberries were starting to ripen a few weeks ago, Carla and I drove out to the country to pick every last juicy berry used in this coconut rice pudding with mint mulberry compote. When your beekeeper, urban gardener, former-cowboy cousin invites you out to his new ranch home to pick mulberries and blackberries, you don't turn down the offer.
You instead brag to your other food-loving friends to make them so jealous that it'd just be cruel not to bring a buddy along to share in the harvest.
Of course neither of us did any research about proper attire for picking mulberries or blackberries. And even though I'd just read Karen's warning about the blood and prickles from blackberry's insidious thorns, I nonetheless showed up in a flowy tank top without gloves. Moving to the city has taken the country girl right out of me.
I went home with a pink sun-kissed shoulders and so many puffy red scratches on my forearms that you'd swear I was in a cat fight. But I also carried home a BOX full of plump ripe mulberries and blackberries. No pain no gain.
Do you know how long it takes to pick enough mulberries and blackberries for any recipe worthwhile? Thank goodness for Carla's company (psst - have you seen her new site design??). I now appreciate the price tag on that small clamshell of berries at the market.
The blackberries turned into pizza only hours later with Alanna & Hollie (while I might not heed Karen's blackberry battlegear advice, I will steal pizza recipe inspiration from her any time of day). The mulberries - well, you see them here.
For this rice pudding, I started with my Nana's holiday recipe (also the very first recipe I ever shared here on Snixy Kitchen - oh boy). I replaced the whole milk with a combo of canned coconut milk and coconut water, and subbed out the heavy cream for freshly whipped coconut cream. The result is smooth and creamy, with (surprisingly) only a subtle coconut hint. This vegan coconut rice pudding is money - I'm never turning back.
A trace of fresh mint mixed in with the berry compote will give you one last glimpse of summer. Don't worry if you can't find mulberries for this recipe, sub in blackberries or your other favorite berry - but do it quick before fall sweeps in and wipes them away!
Also, last week - week 17 - our #cheesebabygirl was the size of a small mango, and instead of encouraging me to cook, she advocated for multiple naps in front of the fan. That and eating allofthecookies. Hence the radio silence. In related news, she's started feeling like a fish swimming up against the inside of my belly.
For the Vegan Coconut Rice Pudding
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup uncooked arborio white rice
- 2-⅔ cups canned lite coconut milk (a little less than two 14.5oz cans)
- 1-⅓ cups coconut water
- 2 tablespoons raw turbinado sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I use Rodelle Organics Vanilla Extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup canned coconut cream, chilled for at least 12 hours (see note)
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
For the Mint Mulberry Compote
- 5 cups mulberries or blackberries (24 ounces)
- ¼ cup raw turbinado sugar
- 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh mint (about 8 leaves)
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (or corn starch)
- Bring water to boil over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
- Add rice and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain rice thoroughly and rinse saucepan.
- In the same saucepan, bring coconut milk, coconut water, sugar, vanilla bean scrapings and pod, vanilla extract, and salt to boil over medium heat.
- Stir in the drained rice and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes.
- Cover the saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Crack lid halfway through the cooking time to let some moisture out and be careful not to burn the rice on the bottom of pan.
- Transfer the rice to a bowl and refrigerate, covered, until chilled, about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the mint mulberry compote. In a medium saucepan, cook the mulberries, sugar, mint, and tapioca starch over medium heat until the juices begin to release and it thickens, about 10 minutes. Use a fork or a potato masher halfway through to break down the berries a bit. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate, covered, until chilled, about 1 hour.
- Just before serving, Beat the chilled coconut cream on high speed until it thickens, slowly adding the powdered sugar as you go. Fold the whipped coconut cream into the chilled rice pudding.
- Serve topped with mint mulberry compote.
I do not recommend using the coconut cream from Trader Joe's as they seem to have updated their supplier and the new consistency is a bit oily.