“Rice pudding is how God intended us to eat rice,” my father announced when I mentioned I was thinking about making some. Well that settled it, rice pudding it would be.
With a little investigation, I found that there are two basic ways to make rice pudding—baking or boiling.
Then there is my father’s way, which is take some cold white rice, add some cream, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix and eat. Dad has been making rice pudding this way my whole life, but dad’s method has never appealed to me that much, so boiling or baking it would have to be.
The first recipe I tried called for 3/4 cup of heavy cream for a recipe that only served 2 people. Yikes! Too rich, couldn’t eat it. (Ever notice that recipes 20 years and older can be a bit heavy on the cream and butter?) A couple of adjustments later, I settled on this recipe, using the boiling method. It is especially tasty with raisins.
Is rice pudding the best comfort dessert of all time? This recipe is convincing enough—it’s simple and satisfying, and comes together in less than half an hour. All you do is combine milk, raw rice, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir in a bit of vanilla or almond extract and boom, you’re done. You can serve as is, or dress it up with accessories of your choice: nuts, a dash of cinnamon, dried or fresh fruit—the sky (and the resources of your pantry) is the limit. See our How to Make Pudding video for more inspiration.
3⁄4 cup medium grain rice or 3⁄4 cup long grain rice
1 1⁄2 cups water
1⁄4 teaspoon salt (heaping)
4 cups whole milk (I use 2%)
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
Bring rice, water and salt to a boil over med-high heat.
Simmer covered until water has been absorbed (approximately 15 minutes).
Stir in milk and sugar and cook uncovered over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently–especially towards the end of cooking.
The pudding is done when the rice and milk have amalgamated into a thick porridge-like consistency.
DO NOT OVERCOOK or the pudding will be solid instead of creamy once cooled.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Turn into a bowl or cups.
You can sprinkle cinnamon on the top if you like.
COVER with plastic wrap directly on surface “IF” you don’t want a skin.