Meander Valley Gazette

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Vanilla risotto with mint and spiced apples

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Vanilla risotto - perfect for breakfast when family and special friends have stayed the night   Photo |   Wai Lin Coultas

Vanilla risotto - perfect for breakfast when family and special friends have stayed the night

Photo | Wai Lin Coultas

April 2019 | Wai Lin Coultas

THIS SWEET, creamy and wickedly aromatic risotto does away with the actual vanilla bean by generously splashing natural organic vanilla essence and double cream into full cream milk. Just off the hot stove, pair it with a minty and spicy chilled apple stew, garnished with some lusciously tart fresh berries – perfect for breakfast when family and special friends have stayed the night.

Ingredients: risotto

3/4 cup Arborio rice

2 1/2 tbs butter

2 1/4 plus 1/4 extra cups full cream milk

1/4 cup double cream

3–4 tbs caster sugar

8–12 tsp natural organic vanilla essence

Ingredients: spiced apple

2 sprigs apple mint

400 g Gala apples, peeled, cored and diced

2 1/2 tbs raw sugar

2 1/2 star anise, broken into bits

1 lemon, zested and juiced

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

8 pinches ground nutmeg

1/3 tsp ground cardamom

1 2/3 tbs brandy

6 blue berries

8 raspberries

mint sprigs and leaves

Method: spiced apples

To make spiced apples, bring all ingredients in saucepan to a boil before simmering covered for 15 minutes till apples are tender; turning them over every 5 minutes.

Puree contents of saucepan before refrigerating, covered, overnight.

Method: vanilla risotto

To make vanilla risotto, warm 2 1/4 cups milk in a saucepan.

Over medium heat, melt butter in 3rd saucepan before adding rice; stir until rice is well coated in butter.

Adding 1 ladle of warm milk at a time, stir rice until it has absorbed enough milk to become almost al dente.

Stir in 1/4 cup milk, double cream, sugar and vanilla essence to taste.

Stir 8 coarsely chopped mint leaves through chilled pureed spiced apples.

To plate individual serves, divide the hot vanilla risotto over half the mint and spiced apple puree, topping with half the blueberries and a mint sprig tip. Garnish each plate with half the raspberries and 3 mint leaves.

Serves 2