Ararat pilav (Rice with fruit)
For the rice
- 50 g butter
- 350 g long grain rice, washed under cold running water and drained
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 900 ml boiling stock or water
For the pilav
- 50 g butter
- 75 g blanched almonds
- 100 g dried apricots, soaked overnight, drained and coarsely chopped
- 100 g stoned, dried prunes, soaked overnight, drained and coarsely chopped
- 175 g sultanas
- A pinch of ground cloves
- 25 g sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 apples, cored, the inners lined with tin foil
- 50 ml Brandy
To cook the rice
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a moderate heat.
- Add the rice and fry, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the salt and boiling stock or water.
- Boil vigorously for 2-3 minutes, reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove from heat and place a tea towel between the lid and the saucepan.
- Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes, then fluff up the rice with a fork.
To make the pilav
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the nuts, dried fruits, cloves and sugar and cook over a low heat, stirring often until the nuts are golden and the sultanas are plump.
- Sprinkle with the cinnamon and keep warm.
- On a large serving platter, pile the rice into 2 separate peaks - a large one on the right and a smaller one on the left, to represent the shape of Mount Ararat.
- Place the apples between the peaks and fill the lined cores with the brandy.
- Arrange the fruit and nut mixture around the peaks to reach about half way up the mountain, leaving the upper part to resemble snow.
- Ignite the brandy and serve.
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