No one thinks of rice pudding as a wonderful dessert or snack – but there is nothing better and more unexpected for a touch of sweet. All that is needed is leftover rice, add dried fruits, or for the purists, just cinnamon and some sugar.
Basic Rice Pudding Recipe (with options)
What you need:
2 cups of cooked rice
2 cups milk
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. butter, unsalted
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
½ cup Raisins or currants (optional – I despise them so I won’t use them)
In a non-stick saucepan put rice, 1 and ½ cups of milk, the sugar, salt and cinnamon. Over medium low heat – stir to combine, then continue to stir until milk is absorbed. Remove from heat. It will look much like this:
In a small bowl, beat the egg and add in the butter, vanilla and the remaining ½ cup milk. Spoon out some of the hot rice into the egg and milk mixture to temper it – making sure to keep stirring the mixture until the butter is melted and the mix is creamy. Usually this takes adding in 2 or 3 spoonfuls of hot rice, stirring and adding more hot rice repeated once or twice. Then mix the egg/butter/milk mix into the rice on the stove, return to heat and stir continuously until all of the milk is absorbed, which should take about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately transfer into serving or storage container.
Use Jasmine or Basmati rice rather than plain short grain white.
Add in dried cranberries, cherries or blueberries rather than raisins or currants.
And my favorite version – the “almost almond joy”
Substitute 1 can coconut milk for equal amount milk.
Reserve the ½ cup of coconut milk to mix with the egg and butter.
Use toasted coconut (1/2 cup) in with the rice as you are cooking. Just before finishing, add ½ cup sliced toasted almonds. Stir until creamy.
Set into serving bowls, top with more toasted coconut, a sprinkle of chocolate chips and 1 or 2 Chocolate Roasted Almonds. Once the chocolate melts, it’s not a really “pretty” dish – but it tastes amazing.
You can also use the coconut, coconut milk, dried papaya and mango and basmati or jasmine rice to make an “Asian style” rice pudding. Finish with fresh chopped mint.