Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rice Pudding Deluxe

Comfort food...at its finest! Many years ago a local restaurant chain had a deluxe rice pudding on the menu. It came served on a very large platter...a warm rice pudding, smothered with a vanilla custard and topped with whipped cream. My daughter and I reasoned that if we shared the dessert it was almost a healthy choice. And so our shopping trips often included a stop at that particular restaurant for a treat. It was a sad day when we found our favorite item was no longer on the menu. Several years ago...I made up a copykat version at my daughter's request. Since that time...a rice pudding party has become an annual tradition...always in February. Our pudding day 2013 has come and gone... with four 'girls' around the table.  We each had our own big serving...and we didn't need dinner that day!

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup short grain pearl rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Place rice, milk and salt in a deep, heavy saucepan.*
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, while stirring.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer gently for about 45 minutes (or until rice is cooked) stirring frequently.
  4. In a small bowl, combine egg, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg with a whisk.
  5. Stir 1/2 cup of the cooked rice into the egg mixture...then add the egg/sugar mixture to the cooked rice.
  6. Add raisins.
  7. Cook on low for two or three minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  9. Cool slightly and serve warm or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold. It is delicious either way.
*If you have a double boiler, the simplest method is to cook the rice in the top of the double boiler over boiling water.  This takes a little longer but reduces the risk of scorching the rice.

To bump it up a notch:
  1. Prepare your favorite vanilla custard.
  2. Whip up a pint of whipping cream, slightly sweetened and laced with vanilla.
  3. Spread a layer of rice pudding on dinner plate or platter.
  4. Top with a layer of vanilla custard.
  5. Garnish liberally with whipped cream.
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  7. Indulge in rice pudding deluxe!