Christmas rice pudding wreath

During my childhood days every year, Christmas was a big family get together on the farm; over fifty of us had a feast under the trees in our garden or on the large stoep on the original family farm. There were leg of lamb and my auntie Martie’s famous chicken pie with lots of salads on the side; my mom made steamed Christmas pudding in which a few coins were also hidden. This wreath is a resemblance of that pudding with the same flavour profile full of spiciness. But it is the silky creaminess of this rice pudding that makes it extra special.

Makes 1 large wreath
Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 40 min
Setting time: 4 hours

  • 500 ml (2 c) water
  • 500 ml (2 c) whole cream milk
  • 4 bags citrus chai rooibos tea OR a piece of orange peel, 2 pieces stick cinnamon, 1 slice of fresh ginger, 2 cardamom pods, and 2 cloves
  • 200 g Spekko basmati rice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 can (410 g) condensed milk
  • 100 g mixed raisins or luxury Christmas cake mix
  • 100 g red glacé cherries
  • 50 g almond flakes
  • 5 ml (1 T) vanilla essence
  • 10 ml (2 t) gelatin, soaked in cold water

TO FINISH
fresh cherries
mint

1 Spray a silicon ring cake pan with cooking spray.
2 Combine the water and milk in a saucepan, add the tea bags or loose spices and orange peel and heat till just under boiling point. Squeeze out the liquid from the tea bags, remove the bags or spices and peel. Also, reserve 60 ml (¼ c) of the tea mixture.
5 Add the rice and salt and bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
6 Add the condensed milk and raisins or luxury Christmas mix and continue simmering for another 5—7 minutes till the rice is just tender. Stir in the glacé cherries and almond flakes and vanilla essence.
7 Mix the soaked gelatin with the reserved tea mixture and stir till the gelatin is smooth.
8 Add a few spoonsful of the cooked rice mixture to the gelatin, mix well, then add the mixture to the rest of the rice mixture in the saucepan. Mix well.
9 Spoon into the cake ring and leave to set. Preferably overnight.
10 Unmold onto a platter and decorate with fresh cherries and mint.

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