When I was a child, we always used to have condensed milk in rice pudding. Its creamy taste and syrupy texture really makes this classic comfort pudding. All you need then are a few poached plums, livened up with a little spice.
For the rice pudding
200g (7oz) Carnation Condensed Milk
150ml carton double cream, plus extra for serving (optional)
500ml (17fl oz) water
100g (3½oz) pudding rice
1 vanilla pod
For the plums
150ml (½pt) Marsala wine
1tsp arrowroot mixed with 1 tsp water
150ml (½pt) water
25g (1oz) caster sugar
9 plums, halved and stoned
2 cinnamon sticks
Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4.
Mix together the condensed milk, cream and water in a large jug. Rinse the rice well, then place in a large saucepan with the milk and cream mixture. Split the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds with a knife and add them to the saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Transfer the rice mixture to a 1.1 litre (2 pt) ovenproof dish, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 40 inch“50 minutes until the rice is cooked.
For the plums, mix together the Marsala, arrowroot, water and sugar. Place the plums in a large ovenproof dish and pour over the Marsala mixture. Add the cinnamon sticks and poach, uncovered, in the oven for about 40 minutes until the rice pudding is done. Turn the plums once during cooking.
Remove the rice pudding from the oven; it will continue to thicken on standing. If you want to be really indulgent, stir in a few extra spoonfuls of cream when it comes out of the oven.
Serve up a generous helping of rice pudding with the warm plums.