Saffron

Dessert, Bread

Saffron Scented Popovers

Makes 6 large popovers.

Piping hot popovers usually elicit oohs and ahhs of excitement. The truth is they could hardly be easier to make. If you don’t own a popover pan, you can use a standard-size muffin pan or custard cups. Saffron popovers are delicious with either savory fillings or butter and jam.

1 cup milk
Saffron, large pinch
2 eggs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Thoroughly grease each cup of the popover pan (or muffin tin). Set aside. Crumble the saffron into the milk and let stand for 10 minutes.

In a mixing bowl,* whisk together the eggs, saffron-milk, and butter. Add the flour and salt and whisk (gently) until the batter is smooth.

Fill each of the pan’s cups just over half full. Bake at 450 degrees until the popovers have puffed up and the tops have some golden spots, about 15–20 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until the popover tops are completely golden brown, about another 15–20 minutes.

Removing the popovers from the pan and use a paring knife to poke a slit into the

bottom of each one, which will allow some steam to escape and prevent the interior from becoming gummy. Serve right away.

* A bowl with a pour spout is ideal!

Dessert

Coconut-Rose Rice Pudding

Serves 4–6.

This recipe proves that a dish can be simultaneously exotic and familiar, enchanting and comforting.

1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
3/4 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons rose syrup, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups day-old, cooked Basmati rice*
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch saffron threads, well crumbled
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Put all the ingredients, except for 1 tablespoon of the rose syrup, into a heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat. Stir and heat until the mixture is boiling nicely, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 20 minutes — the pudding will thicken further as it cools. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of rose syrup.

Pour into a serving dish (or dishes) and let the pudding cool. Serve warm or chilled, garnished with almonds, rose petals, and lemon zest.

Well covered, the pudding will keep for several days in the fridge.

*Freshly cooked rice won’t work properly but leftover take-out white rice will.