I told you I’d been on a serious barley kick lately and that I still had a little bit of that lovin’ to share with you all… Well, I wasn’t lying!

I’d been meaning to make rice pudding for quite some time now, but after I recently made my Creamy Chicken Barley Risotto, I started toying with the idea of making Barley Pudding instead, using that same technique, or at least a very similar one.

To kick things up a notch, I decided to add apples, raisins and cinnamon to it, and to add them right from the get-go so they would blend and sort of become one with the creamy concoction.

Whoa, did this dessert ever deliver! This Barley Pudding is kind of a cross between rice pudding and tapioca pudding, only in a much, much chewier version! It’s thick, it’s creamy, it’s chewy, it pops in your mouth and it tastes absolutely fantastic. If like me you’re a fan of barley and happen to have a real soft spot for tapioca pudding, you have to give this a try!

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie | Recipe on thehealthyfoodie.com

Now I need to warn you: this dessert is kind of on the high maintenance side… after all, it is sort of like a sweet version of risotto, so it will ask that you stand right next to it and do nothing but pamper it for a good hour. You’ll be stirring and stirring and stirring some more. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, you’ll have to let it cool down and wait for another hour or so before you get to enjoy it.

But I say it’s really worth the effort. If you’re a fan of puddings, custards and the likes, that is. And if you thoroughly enjoy the chewiness of barley.

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie | Recipe on thehealthyfoodie.com

The first thing you’ll need to do to make this barley pudding is bring your milk to a slow simmer, and then keep it warm the whole time you’re making the pudding.

While the milk is coming up in temperature, melt a few tablespoons of ghee in a large skillet or saute pan set over medium-low heat; throw in the apples and barley and stir until the grains of barley are well coated in fat and slightly toasted, about 3 minutes.

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie | Recipe on thehealthyfoodie.com

The choice of which apple to use is pretty much up to you; chances are, any variety will eventually melt anyway! I used my favorite, Golden Delicious, but even that one melted towards the end. Can’t really blame it, after getting cooked and moved around for so long…

Alright so next, stir in the raisins, cinnamon and salt, then start adding the warm milk, about 1 cup or so at a time.

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie | Recipe on thehealthyfoodie.com

Don’t be tempted to add too much liquid at once, here. Just like when making risotto, it’s very important that the liquid be added very gradually throughout the process.

Likewise, always be sure that any liquid you add to your pan is nice and warm: this will ensure that the temperature of the barley remains consistently hot, which, along with the constant stirring, will encourage the release of the starch in the barley. In turn, that starch will thicken the surrounding liquid and make that pudding nice and creamy for you.

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie | Recipe on thehealthyfoodie.com

Continue to stir constantly and adding more milk, always making sure that the all the milk has been absorbed before adding more.

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie | Recipe on thehealthyfoodie.com

You’ll want to continue stirring and adding milk until the barley is tender and creamy, which should take about 55 minutes from the time you first started adding milk.

Note that it is of utmost importance that you never stop stirring, otherwise the milk might scorch, curdle and/or attach to the bottom of the pan, rendering your pudding totally unpalatable.

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie | Recipe on thehealthyfoodie.com

Towards the end, taste regularly to gauge the doneness of the barley; you may not need to use all the milk, or you may need a little more, depending on how soft you like your pudding.

Once the barley is cooked to your liking, stir in a final cup of warm milk as well as the maple syrup. As you can see, this will make the pudding sort of loose; that’s perfectly fine.

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie | Recipe on thehealthyfoodie.com

This time, we won’t be stirring until all the liquid has been absorbed because we want our pudding to cool down some. Instead, kill the heat and let the pudding sit, stirring only from time to time, until it’s thickened up and cooled down to your liking, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie | Recipe on thehealthyfoodie.com

Stir in heavy cream, if using. If you prefer your pudding a bit on the colder side, you can send it for a quick trip to the fridge at this point to bring it further down in temperature.

Serve topped with a dollop of crème fraîche, sour cream or plain yogurt, a few drops of maple syrup and a light sprinkle of cinnamon.

Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to a few days, but the pudding will become fairly thick and pasty once completely chilled. Reheat for a few seconds in the microwave to make it creamy again, or, if serving cold, stir in a little bit of milk to loosen it up.

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie | Recipe on thehealthyfoodie.com

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding

 

Ingredients

  • 6-1/4 cups (1.5 liter) whole milk

Optional garnish

  • Crème fraiche or Sour cream or Plain yogurt
  • Maple syrup
  • Ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a slow simmer over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the ghee in a large skillet or saute pan set over medium-low heat; add the apples and barley and stir until the grains of barley are well coated and slightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in raisins, cinnamon and salt, then start adding the warm milk, about 1 cup or so at a time, and continue to stir constantly, making sure that the milk is completely absorbed before adding more. Continue stirring and adding milk until the barley is tender and creamy, which should take about 55 minutes from the time you first started adding milk. It is particularly important that you never stop stirring, otherwise the milk might scorch, curdle and/or attach to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Towards the end, taste regularly to gauge the doneness of the barley; you may not need to use all the milk, or you may need a little more, depending on how soft you like your pudding.
  4. Once the barley is cooked to your liking, stir in a final cup of warm milk as well as the maple syrup, kill the heat and let the pudding rest, stirring from time to time, until it’s thickened up and cooled down to the desired serving temperature, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  5. Stir in heavy cream, if using. If you prefer your pudding a bit on the colder side, you can send it for a quick trip to the fridge at this point to bring it further down in temperature.
  6. Serve topped with a dollop of crème fraîche, sour cream or plain yogurt, a few drops of maple syrup and a light sprinkle of cinnamon.
  7. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to a few days, but the pudding will become fairly thick and pasty once chilled. Reheat for a few seconds in the microwave to make it creamy again, or, if serving cold, stir in a little bit of milk to loosen it up.

3.5.3226

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie | Recipe on thehealthyfoodie.com

Apple Cinnamon Barley Pudding

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