Today on the Sonrise morning show I chatted with Annie Mitchell about milk and cream and how they were used during Bible days. I always share a recipe each week, and today I shared this simple and delicious rice pudding.
My husband, Frank, was the one who requested this. “I’d love some rice pudding like the kind I grew up with”, he told me. Well, that made me think of my own childhood, when comforting desserts like rice pudding were made with leftover rice. Not fancy. Just darn good. We used long grain converted rice and Frank most likely grew up with short grain rice. Actually, the short grain makes a creamier pudding. So I found a few recipes both in my files, in some vintage cookbooks, and online. This is the one we liked best. Simple and yummy.
SIMPLE RICE PUDDING
Now here’s the deal: shorter rice and whole milk make the best creamy rice pudding. I made some with half & half and oh my gosh – SO GOOD!
3/4 cup medium grain white rice, cooked
Couple pinches salt
2 cups whole milk, or your choice
1/2 cup sugar or more to taste
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
To cook rice: I usually use the ratio of 2:1 – 2 parts liquid to 1 part rice, so that would be 1-1/2 cups water to cook the 3/4 cup rice. Put water and salt in pan. Bring to a boil, then stir in rice. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook until rice is done, about 20 minutes.
In a pan, pour in 1-1/2 cups milk and the sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat to dissolve sugar. Stir in cooked rice and continue to cook until mixture is creamy and fairly thick, about 10-15 minutes, stirring the rice pudding occasionally.
Whisk egg, vanilla and 1/2 cup milk together. Pour this into rice mixture, stirring constantly until egg is cooked. This will only take a few minutes. Mixture will be quite thick and creamy. Stir in fruit and nuts if using in your rice pudding.
Tips from Rita’s kitchen:
Which rice is best for rice pudding? Medium white grain and Arborio rice makes a creamy rice pudding, but if all you have is white long grain or converted rice, go ahead and use it. Your rice pudding will be a bit less creamy.
I have not tried making this with brown rice, which is a whole grain and would require more liquid.
Gilding the lily: Serve warm rice pudding, room temperature or chilled with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
Cinnamon? One of my boys liked cinnamon on his rice pudding but the other two liked it plain. Up to you!
Variations: Substitute 1/2 teaspoon almond extract for 1 of the teaspoons of vanilla. Add toasted nuts and dried fruit.