“Rice pudding is one of my favorite dishes—we used to have it once a week when I was growing up in England,” Bruce Auden says of the inspiration for this autumnal dessert. “But you can never order it in a restaurant.” When Auden, the executive chef at the Fairmount Restaurant in San Antonio, craves a rice pudding, you can be sure he’s not going to make something bland or dreary. As one of this country’s most daring culinary pioneers, the 33-year-old Auden has proved himself a bold orchestrator of Southwestern style and international flavors. And that’s true in the gingered rice pudding, with a tart-cherry conserve. “What I was looking for was a dessert that wasn’t too elegant,” Auden explains. “These are warm Thanksgiving flavors we all use around this time of year. Of course, I still think my mother makes the best rice pudding of anybody.”

Gingered Rice Pudding—Recipe

Fairmount Restaurant, the Fairmount Hotel, 401 S. Alamo (512) 224-8800, (800) 642-3363