A celebration of Europe #5 – Cyprus

After the main course, where better to have puds than 1,898 km away on the sun drenched Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Officially called the Republic of Cyprus (this is probably not the best forum for discussion of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus), it is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. On 1 January 2008 it joined the Eurozone.


Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Skill level: easy
Serves: 3


  • water – 375 ml
  • arborio rice – 90g
  • full fat milk – 375 ml
  • caster sugar – 75g
  • zest of a small lemon
  • vanilla extract – a drop or two to taste
  • corn flour – 1½ tbsp
  • cold milk – 2 tbsp
  • cinnamon or nutmeg for serving

In a saucepan bring the water to the boil.

Add the rice, stir and bring back to the boil.

Turn down to a low simmer and cover.

Cook for 15–18 minutes until the rice is al dente.

Stir in the milk, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla and bring back to the boil.

At this stage it looks like there is far too much liquid … don’t panic.

Mix the cornflour and cold milk into a paste and add to the rice. Stir and cook for a further 10 minutes until thickened.

Remove from the heat and let it sit for a while (this is where it thickens to a recognisable rice pudding consistency)

When you’re ready to eat, reheat and serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon or a grating of nutmeg.

Verdict: Light and zesty. A tasty variation on the more stodgy traditional school dinner rice pudding. Even the fussy child enjoyed it.

Drink: By now we had moved on to the Spanish red.

Entertainment: Still ‘The Sound of Music’. It is 3 hours long after all. And so, after 45 years, this is our last day in the EU. The Eton Rifles have won their little game. Shame on Britain.

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