Lightly grease a 2 1/2 pint shallow flameproof dish. Mix the short-grain rice with the coconut milk, milk, lime rind, and superfine sugar until all the ingredients are well blended. Pour the rice mixture into the greased ovenproof dish and dot the surface with a little butter. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven. Remove and discard the strip of lime from the rice pudding. Stir the pudding well; add the pinch of ground star anise, if using, return to the oven and cook for another 1-2 hours or until almost all the milk has been absorbed and a golden brown skin has baked on the top of the pudding.
Cover the top of the pudding with foil if it starts to brown too much towards the end of the cooking time. Serve the baked coconut rice pudding warm, or chilled if you prefer, with fresh or stewed fruit.
COOK'S TIP: As the mixture cools, it thickens. If you plan to serve the rice chilled, then fold in about 3 tablespoons of cream or extra coconut milk before serving to give a thinner consistency.
PREPRATION TIME: 2 hours, 35 minutes
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