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Rice pudding with meadowsweet and compote of cherries

Chef David Everitt-MatthiasThis recipe comes from Chef David Everitt-Matthias and is featured in his new book Essence - recipes from le champignon sauvage.

David's many awards reflect the esteem in which he is held as a chef. Recognised as one of Britain's leading craftsmen, he is always in the kitchen and has never missed a service. He is also known for his tireless experimentation with anything from the most humble to the most expensive ingredients, and an “ability for making dishes taste more of themselves than the original ingredient”. His food is a cross between the ‘terroir’ and modern French with very original touches. To find out more about the restaurant he runs with his wife Helen <click here>

If you would like to find out more about his new book Essence - recipes from le champignon sauvage then <click here>

Chef David Everitt-Matthias:

Rice pudding is one of my favourite desserts, served hot, cold or in a mousse. Here I have used risotto rice, because the grains are bigger when cooked, and I have flavoured it with meadowsweet, which lends a lovely, subtle perfume. If you cannot get fresh meadowsweet, then use 15g dried flowers. Alternatively, omit it altogether, double the amount of orange zest in the rice pudding and serve it with Marinated Prunes in Armagnac (see the book) instead of the cherry compote. But, trust me, the flavour of meadowsweet works so well with cherries. The cherries can also be cut in half after the compote has been made and semi-dried In a very low oven (about 80°C) for a different texture.


For the compote of cherries:
juice of I lemon
grated zest of I orange
500ml red wine
1 meadowsweet head
3 cherry kernels, crushed
100g caster sugar
500g cherries, stoned

For the rice pudding:
75g carnaroli risotto rice
350ml milk
150ml double cream
3 meadowsweet heads
pared zest of ½ orange, in wide strips
50g caster sugar, plus extra for glazing
1 1/2 gelatine laves
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier

For the pastry cream:
100ml milk
75ml double cream
40g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
5g corn flour


Compote of cherries:

  • Put all the Ingredients apart from the cherries in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, then add the cherries and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Immediately remove the cherries and place in a bowl to cool.
  • Boil the cooking juices until reduced by half, then leave to cool.
  • Strain on to the cherries and leave to macerate overnight.

Cooking the rice:

  • Place the rice, milk, 75ml of the double cream, meadowsweet heads, orange zest and caster sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until the rice is soft and the mixture is thick and creamy. Remove from the heat.
  • Cover the gelatine with cold water and leave fur about 5 minutes to soften. Squeeze out the excess water and add the gelatine to the hot rice, stirring until dissolved.
  • Remove the meadowsweet heads and leave to cool.

Pastry cream:

  • While the rice pudding is cooking, make the pastry cream. Bring the milk and cream to the boil in a small saucepan.
  • Put the sugar, egg yolk and cornflour in a bowl and whisk until well amalgamated.
  • Pour on the milk and cream, whisking continuously.
  • Pour the mixture back into the saucepan cook over a low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Finishing the rice pudding:

  • Whisk the remaining double cream with the Grand Marnier until it forms thick ribbons.
  • When the rice pudding and the pastry cream are cool, lightly mix them together and place in the fridge for about 1 1/2 hours, until almost set.
  • Just before it sets, fold in the whipped cream and transfer to 6 oiled metal ring moulds, 6cm in diameter and 4cm deep. Cover and chill for 3 - 4 hours.


  • Turn the rice pudding out of the moulds on to serving plates and sprinkle lightly but evenly with caster sugar.
  • Glaze with a blowtorch until golden; be quick though otherwise any protruding grains of rice will scorch.
  • Serve with the cherry compote.

Serves 6

David Everitt-Matthias