Monday, January 18, 2010

Rice pudding

I was invited to Dew & Tony's for dinner on Sunday night, and offered to bring dessert.  I made rice pudding, one of my favorites.

I've spent many years on a quest for the ultimate rice pudding.  In my mind, rice pudding should be soft and creamy, but not too rich.  It should be pleasantly sweet, but not overly so.  It should have a mere sprinkling of cinnamon.  It should ALWAYS have raisins.  (Those of you who are raisin-haters may stop reading now.)

Here's my best recipe, a true 'diner-style' rice pudding.

1/2 cup uncooked rice (I use a domestic long-grain rice, but basmati or jasmine rice is very nice, too)
1 1/2 c water
1 tsp salt
3 Tbp butter

 Combine rice, water, salt, and butter in a 4-qt saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stir a couple times, lower heat, cover, and cook 12-15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.

Add:

1 qt 2% milk (Yes, 2%.  I'm no low-fat crusader, but I find that a less rich rice pudding is actually more enjoyable than a rich one, made with, say, half-and-half or cream.)
1/2 cup sugar

Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat, and cook gently 25-35 minutes (depends on the rice), stirring occasionally, until the pudding is thickened and coats the back of the spoon.  Remove from heat.

Add:

1/2 cup raisins, which have been plumped in 1/2 boiling water, and drained.
2 tsp vanilla extract

Cover, and let cool fully.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Careful, not too much!

At this point, feel free to add some whipped cream to each serving.  Enjoy. 


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