Baked Rice Pudding with Bananas, Raisins, and Toasted Almonds

Originally written for a Hallowe’en article (in 2008…and titled “Creamed Maggot Pie with Bug Bits, Phlegm, and Fingernails), this sweet treat is as comforting as it is delicious. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo on hand.

Baked Rice Pudding with Bananas, Raisins, and Toasted Almonds

2 tablespoons tapioca starch
2/3 cup nondairy milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or Himalayan salt
3 cups cooked, short-grain brown rice
1 cup banana chunks
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon unrefined cane sugar
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 400°F . Lightly oil a 9-inch pie dish and set aside.

Whisk together tapioca starch and 2 tablespoons of the nondairy milk until smooth. Whisk in the remaining nondairy milk and the maple syrup. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. Stir in rice, bananas, and raisins. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture into prepared pie dish. Sprinkle with the sugar.

Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, until bubbly. Let cool about 30 minutes. Top with sliced almonds. Serve with extra nondairy milk, coconut milk iced cream, or pure maple syrup, if desired.