This dessert combines two favourites - rice pudding and brûlée -
in one. The crème fraîche gives a subtle tang to cut the richness.
Begin this recipe two days ahead to make the crème fraîche.
100 gmshort-grain rice85 gmraw caster sugar, plus extra to serve1vanilla bean, split, seeds scrapedFinelygrated rind of 1 lemon1 litre(4 cups) milkCrème fraîche500 mlpouring cream60 ml(¼ cup) buttermilkRhubarb and vanilla750 gmrhubarb, cut into 3cm lengths110 gm(½ cup) caster sugarJuiceand rind of 1 orangeScrapedseeds of 1 vanilla bean
For crème fraîche, stir together cream and buttermilk in a container and leave at room temperature until thick (24-40 hours, depending on climate; do not stir). Refrigerate until required. Makes about 400gm.
Preheat oven to 140C. Combine rice, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, rind and half the milk in a 2-litre baking dish and bake for 1 hour. Add remaining milk, stir, cook for a further hour, then stir in 150gm crème fraîche, and bake until golden and set (45 minutes to 1 hour). Cool slightly, then scatter with caster sugar in a thin even layer and caramelise with a blowtorch or under a hot grill.
For rhubarb, bring ingredients and 2 tbsp water to the boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender (10-12 minutes). Serve with warm rice pudding and remaining crème fraîche.