Nigel Slater’s recipe for rice pudding with caramelised bananas

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Put 150g of round grain (pudding) rice into a medium-sized, heavy-based saucepan. Pour in 500ml of water and bring to the boil. Watch carefully until the water has almost evaporated, a matter of 5-7 minutes. Once the water has just about disappeared add 250ml of full cream milk, 250ml of single cream and 2 tbsp of caster sugar. Let it come to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.

Crack 6 green cardamom pods with a heavy weight, then remove the tiny black-brown seeds within. Crush them to a coarse powder with a pestle and mortar or another heavy weight. (I sometimes use the end of a rolling pin and a mixing bowl.) Then add the cardamom to the rice together with 3 cloves.

Leave the rice to simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring regularly (otherwise it will stick) by which time the rice should be soft and creamy.

Meanwhile cook the bananas. Peel 4 bananas, firm rather than ripe, and slice them thickly. Put 40g of light muscovado sugar on a plate in a single layer making sure there are no lumps. Press each piece of banana, cut side down, into the sugar, so each one is lightly coated.

Place a nonstick frying pan over a low to moderate heat, place the bananas in the pan and let them cook for 3-4 minutes, until the sugar starts to turn golden and lightly caramelise.

Ladle the warm rice into dishes, removing the cloves as you go. Remove the bananas from the heat with a palette knife, there is no need to turn them over, and serve them with the rice. Serves 4

Take care when the water is evaporating – as it disappears the rice becomes quite volatile, rather like polenta. It will calm down once you add the milk and cream.

Use firm bananas rather than ripe ones, which tend to turn to mush when cooked.

Avoid the temptation to move the bananas until the underside is deep gold in colour.

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