If Rice Pudding was put in a line-up with some of the most elegant and classy desserts like Chocolate Mousse, Creme Brulee, or New York Cheesecake, husband Art would choose Rice Pudding every time…
…hands-down … in a heart-beat….
As long as I’ve known him, he has NEVER said ‘no thanks’ to Rice Pudding.
But he would be quick to qualify his dessert choice …”It must be GOOD Rice Pudding”.
Tips for making great Rice Pudding:
- Choice of rice is key ….Arborio or Carnaroli is the best choice. Its short-grain glutinous structure allows for high scores in the ‘creamy’ category.
- Slow, gentle cooking (risotto-style) produces the best results.
- For the first stage of cooking, use whole milk – not skim milk, or 2% milk, not even cream.
- Cream and an egg yolk are used in the second stage to produce a custard-like finale.
- Lots of cinnamon ….a generous splash of vanilla …and raisins.
Creamy Rice Pudding
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Number of Servings: 6
¾ cup (185 mL) Arborio or Carnaroli rice
3 cups (750 mL) whole milk
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup (125 mL) coffee cream or half-and-half
1/3 – ½ cup (85 – 125 mL) granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoon (7 mL) ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon (1.5 mL) salt
½ cup (125 mL) heavy cream
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla paste, or pure vanilla extract
¾ cup (185 mL) Thompson raisins
1 tablespoon (15 mL) unsalted butter
- Place the rice and the milk in a heavy saucepan. Add the cinnamon sticks. Bring to a gentle boil, over low-medium heat (uncovered), stirring often. Simmer gently for 20-25 minutes. Constant stirring isn’t necessary, however, stir often; and watch carefully.
- Start with adding 1/3 cup of sugar (the rest can be added later if you need it to be a little sweeter). Add the cinnamon and the salt. Continue to simmer gently for an addition 15-20 minutes. It should be getting thick and creamy by this time.
- Remove the cinnamon sticks. Check for sweetness, and add more sugar if you wish.
- In a bowl or cup, combine the heavy cream and the egg yolk. Temper this mixture by adding 2-3 tablespoons of the hot pudding to the mixture. Add the cream-egg mixture to the saucepan; stir in the vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat; add raisins, and stir in butter.
- Place pudding in a large bowl; cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap as it cools.
- At serving time, you may need to stir in a little extra milk or cream if it has become too thick. You can also add a little honey, maple syrup, or jam …and of course, an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.
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