Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is a tetchy subject to bring up when discussing food with friends, opinions are stubborn and often extreme in nature. People either love rice pudding or they hate it, it needs to be made using ___ type of rice, cream versus milk, add-ins versus an unadorned pudding… the list is long and paved with good but rigid intentions. Personally, I could eat rice pudding every single night and be happy, hot or cold. On a more superficial note, anytime I get to use my tiny red Italian gelato spoons is going to be a good eating experience (I have a great fondness for tiny eating utensils.) Eat rice pudding on the very side of warm after it’s been made, or cold for breakfast with a spoonful of raspberry jam and toasted slivered almonds for a special treat. My mom used to make this at night for herself when she was in need of basic comfort food; I have many memories of reading Calvin and Hobbes books with her when I was little while she ate rice pudding out of  a small white bowl. The recipe below isn’t the one my mom used, but it’s equally as rich and creamy as the one from my childhood. Arborio rice makes the best rice pudding (although if you like a chewier texture and nuttier flavour try toasted white basmati rice) and I cook the rice in water first before adding the milk or cream. I most often use milk in this recipe, but you can substitute cream or a mixture of the two, coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, etc. Sometimes I like my rice pudding to be made as is, perfect in its simplicity, and sometimes I like to add in things like: golden sultanas that have been soaked in hot water for 1/2 an hour, blueberries and maple syrup, honey and a small spoonful of nut or seed butter, marmalade and finely grated dark chocolate, any of your favourite jams, preserves, fruit butters, jellies, dried fruit, and anything else you think sounds appealing. If reheating, combine the cold rice pudding with a generous splash of milk (or substitute) and heat over low heat, stirring often, until the rice has absorbed the milk and is warm throughout.

rice pudding:

1 cup of arborio rice

2 cups of milk, or your desired substitute (cream, soy/almond/rice milk, etc.)

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

1/8 tsp. salt

1 egg yolk (optional)

1. Cook the arborio rice in water via stovetop or rice cooker according to package directions, I use a water to rice ratio of 2:1 when making this recipe.

2. Stir the milk and cooked rice together in an uncovered sauce pot over medium heat. Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt before continuing to gently cook until almost all of the milk has been absorbed, which can be accomplished by 20-30 minutes of occasional stirring over gentle heat.

3. At this point either eat the rice pudding as is, at whatever temperature you’d like and with whatever accompaniments you think look particularly delicious. If you want an even richer rice pudding, temper the egg yolk with a small amount of warm milk from the pot before adding back to the rice pudding.

Rice pudding 2

Ian and I are going on our honeymoon next week, we’ll be in Maui for over a week and I cannot wait. We’ve never had the opportunity to travel anywhere just the two of us, let alone anywhere lovely and tropical. I’ve been listening to happy bubbly music in anticipation of our trip, music that sounds like light fizzy bursts of pop and energy. Blackbird Blackbird’s album Summer Heart is a perfect fit to my current mood of excited anticipation and daydreams about sunny beaches.

Blackbird Blackbird – Hawaii

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