I am a big fan of pudding pops in general, but I was even more intrigued by Saveur's recipe for Paletas de Arroz con Leche, rice pudding pops. Rice pudding? I loved the idea of some nubs and texture in my popsicle. Creamy, vanilla-flecked sweetness, bits of tender rice, and — why not? — some juicy mango?
So I gave it a try, substituting coconut milk for some of the milk, and adding in the flesh of two ripe mangos.
One 15-ounce can coconut milk, shaken
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 cup short-grain or arborio rice
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large ripe mangos
Whisk the coconut milk and whole milk together in a 4-quart (or larger) saucepan. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and stir in. Stir in the rice, and bring the whole mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Turn the heat down to low and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, water, vanilla extract, and salt. Peel the mango and chop into 1/2-inch cubes. Fold the mango into the rice mixture.
Transfer the rice and mango mixture to twelve 3-ounce ice-pop molds. Insert sticks and freeze until solid — 3 to 4 hours.
To release the pops from the molds, run the molds briefly under warm water.
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(Images: Faith Durand)