Friday, January 6, 2017

Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

rice pudding | old-fashioned | creamy rice | vanilla pudding | old fashion | dessert | easy rice pudding | creamy rice pudding | homemade pudding | vegan rice pudding | healthy rice pudding | warm dessert | old fashioned | old fashioned rice pudding

On a cold winter night, there are few things more comforting than a warm, decadent dessert.  With the weather set to take a chilly turn this weekend, I wanted to make a tasty treat perfect for this time of year and creamy rice pudding is the perfect dessert for an icy cold evening.

My favorite old-fashioned treat as a kid was tapioca pudding, in particular Watkins Tapioca Pudding Dessert Mix.  Watkins used to sell several different desserts which are mostly now discontinued (insert sadface emoji here).  Another one of these now defunct mixes was rice pudding and while I only tried it a few times, I still remember how creamy and delicious it was.

Recreating that rice pudding was not difficult as rice pudding = cooked rice + custard.  It really is that simple and easy.  There are a ton of recipes out there that involve various other flavors and additions like raisins, nuts or other exotic flavors like cardamom, but I prefer the plain old-fashioned vanilla (although if you want to jazz it up, my recipe is a great base for any variation).

Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 C medium or long grain rice
  • 3 C water
  • 2 C milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t ground cinnamon (optional)

Equipment

  • saucepans/pots (x2)
  • large spoon
  • whisk
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • sieve (optional)

In a large saucepan or pot, bring rice and water to a boil, then cover and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes until rice is fully cooked (it is okay if there is still some liquid left after the rice is cooked – the starch will make the pudding creamier).

rice pudding | old-fashioned | creamy rice | vanilla pudding | old fashion | dessert | easy rice pudding | creamy rice pudding | homemade pudding | vegan rice pudding | healthy rice pudding | warm dessert | old fashioned | old fashioned rice pudding

While the rice is cooking, the custard can be made.  Add milk, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt to a smaller saucepan and whisk over medium-low heat.  Simmer but do not boil or the eggs will curdle.  Whisking continuously is not necessary, but you should not leave it for more than a minute without stirring to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and burning.  Allow it to cook for 15-20 minutes until the custard has thickened.

rice pudding | old-fashioned | creamy rice | vanilla pudding | old fashion | dessert | easy rice pudding | creamy rice pudding | homemade pudding | vegan rice pudding | healthy rice pudding | warm dessert | old fashioned | old fashioned rice pudding

Pour the custard into the rice; do this only after the rice is finished cooking and is off the heat.  If you are concerned about the eggs curdling, pour the mixture through a sieve to catch any scrambled bit of egg.  Combine the rice and custard and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.  This recipe will yield six generous portions.

rice pudding | old-fashioned | creamy rice | vanilla pudding | old fashion | dessert | easy rice pudding | creamy rice pudding | homemade pudding | vegan rice pudding | healthy rice pudding | warm dessert | old fashioned | old fashioned rice pudding

As I mentioned earlier, you can alter this recipe by adding various flavors and ingredients to create an infinite number of different desserts.  The simplicity of vanilla rice pudding allows it to be combined with almost anything to produce delicious result.  To make a yummy fall treat, add chunks of baked apple and cinnamon.  Combine sweet cherries and sliced almonds for an amaretto-like flavor.  If you prefer tropical tastes, add crushed pineapple and mango and finish with some flaked coconut.

The versatility of this dessert allows it to be adapted for various dietary restrictions as well.  If you are cutting back on sugar just remove it from the recipe and add an artificial sweetener after the cooking process.  It is also possible to make vegan rice pudding with this recipe – just substitute the regular milk with coconut or almond milk and the egg yolks with cornstarch, arrowroot powder or tapioca starch (1/2 tablespoon of starch per egg yolk).

rice pudding | old-fashioned | creamy rice | vanilla pudding | old fashion | dessert | easy rice pudding | creamy rice pudding | homemade pudding | vegan rice pudding | healthy rice pudding | warm dessert | old fashioned | old fashioned rice pudding