Sunday, January 30, 2011

Creamy Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is, I'm pretty sure, something I haven't had since my Grandma made it when I was a little girl. We're talking 20 years ago or so. Hers was so tasty and creamy, but to be honest, I don't think I've ever eaten the stuff anywhere but her kitchen. I'm leery of puddings in general: rice, bread, chocolate. Come to think of it, my Grandma's bread pudding was, as I remember, the only thing she made that I didn't like. Not even sure why. But I digress.

On a week night last week, around 8pm, I was reading a book I'd picked up from the library about food; I can't remember the exact title right now. I was in the pizza chapter, and the author mentioned that his wife had walked down the road after their pizza lunch to grab some rice pudding for dessert. So while it was 8pm on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, I decided I simply had to make bread pudding, stat. Yeah, I'm just spontaneous like that.

Creamy Rice Pudding
Slightly adapted from

3/4 c. uncooked white rice
2 c. 2% milk, divided
1/3 c. white sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
2/3 c. raisins
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla-nut-butter extract
Cinnamon and sugar, for optional garnishes

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 c. water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

In another saucepan, combine the cooked rice, 1 1/2 c. milk, sugar, salt and raisins. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, approximately 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/2 c. milk, beaten egg, butter and extract. Cook 1-2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture into a container; sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, to taste. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Enjoy!

The verdict: either the original recipe or the reviews suggested that if a person wants a creamier, richer pudding, they should use short or medium grain rice. All I had in the house in my time of need was extra long grain, which proved to make a drier pudding than I'd hoped for. The extract I used (as opposed to plain vanilla) added a nice depth of flavor, and adding the raisins during the cooking process instead of at the end (as the original recipe suggested) made them nice and plump. Buppy said the pudding was much better after he stirred a small amount of milk into each serving. I'd like to try this recipe again, but with short grain rice next time.

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