The title of this recipe is no joke. Its tastiness is quite honestly inconceivable. Rice pudding is the epitome of comfort food. I love, love, love it! When I found this recipe I knew it had to be included in birthday week. Costco used to sell snack packs of Kozy Shack Rice Pudding that Aaron and I would buy in the summer and they were a dangerous thing to have around. I loved them so much he probably would have benefited from writing his initials on half of them so he was sure to get his fair share (shout out dad!). However, we have the same initials, so I still would have grabbed one any darn time I wanted. 🙂
Rice Puddings are found in nearly every area of the world, with only slight variations. In Algeria it’s called m’halbi, made with cinnamon and rosewater. In Cambodia it’s made with bananas. The Philippines cook theirs up with chocolate. In Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore it’s a black rice porridge. In North India they create theirs with cardamom and pistachio. Germans add cinnamon and applesauce or cherries along with many other European countries that prefer to serve this sweet treat during the winter months or at Christmas time. And the Jamaicans…they kick things up a notch and add a little bit of rum. Heck. Yes.
The love of rice pudding is universal! If you are among so many others in this big wide world that love this sweet delight, try this one out. It’s easy, full of flavor, and magnificent.
Best Ever Rice Pudding (recipe courtesy of Fine Cooking)
4-2/3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup white rice, such as Carolina long grain,basmati, jasmine, or arborio
7 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean (I used 2 tsp. vanilla extract)
1 3-inch cinnamon stick (I used 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon)
2 large egg yolks
Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving (optional)
- In a 4-quart saucepan, combine 4 cups of the milk with the rice and sugar. With a paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add them to the pan. Add the scraped vanilla bean and the cinnamon stick and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring frequently but gently, until the rice is completely tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in about 1 cup of the hot rice mixture. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan, add the remaining 2/3 cup milk, and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended. Put the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, just until the mixture begins to boil, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the rice pudding to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on its surface. Set the bowl in an ice bath to cool the pudding quickly. When cool, discard the cinnamon stick and the vanilla bean. Divide the pudding among 6 small bowls or ramekins, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Serve topped with a spoonful of whipped cream, if using.
- Variation: Prefer your rice pudding warm? Not a problem. Use the recipe here, but when you add the egg yolks, omit the final addition of 2/3 cup milk. Cook as directed; remove the finished rice pudding from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Spoon the warm pudding into small bowls and serve immediately with a generous dollop of whipped cream.
What I love about this treat loved around the world: I love any kind of pudding, but the flavor of this one is one to be rivaled. Subtle vanilla with a hint of cinnamon…next time I’m adding some rum. 🙂
What I hate about this treat loved around the world: I had to wait 3 hours to eat it!