If you can't get the two cherry varieties one is absolutely fine. If you can, infuse the milk and cream a day in advance and keep in the fridge.
750ml full-fat milk
225ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped or 1 tsp ½ vanilla paste
3 small cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp caster sugar
180g pudding rice
¼ tsp rose water
2 tbsp slivered pistachios or lightly crushed pistachios, to garnish
1 tbsp dried, edible rose petals, to garnish
250g pitted black cherries
150g pitted morello or sour cherries
50g caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1½ tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp rose water
- Put the milk, cream, vanilla (pod and seeds), cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar in a medium saucepan and place on high heat. As soon as the mix is about to reach boiling point, remove it and allow to cool. Leave in the fridge to infuse for 1-2 hours or overnight if possible.
- Mix the cherries, sugar, cinnamon sticks, lemon juice and rose water in a medium saucepan and stir. Cook over medium heat to a thick jam consistency, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Bring the infused milk and cream back to the boil. Add the rice and simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. The rice should cook through but still retain a bite and the pudding should be thick. You will need to add a little bit of water, up to 50ml, towards the end of the cooking if the pudding becomes too thick before the rice is done.
- Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pick out the cinnamon and vanilla pod. Add the rose water and stir in a pinch of salt.
- Place some of the cooled cherries into individual bowls and spoon over some pudding to cover. Repeat with more cherries and rice. Finish with a spoonful of cherries, a sprinkle of pistachios and the rose petals. Serve immediately.