A few weeks ago my nephew Sam asked me to to post a recipe for rice pudding. I always thought his mom was the rice pudding maker, but when I asked Meg she said she hadn’t made it in a while and couldn’t find the recipe. I haven’t really tried making rice pudding much mostly because I’ve always thought of rice pudding as something you make when you have leftover rice, but whenever I go looking for a recipe I just find ones that call for uncooked rice. Meg’s recipe was made with cooked rice and egg yolks, and the egg whites were beaten and then folded in at the end. Somehow I never got around to asking her for the recipe and I haven’t found another that’s anything like it.
This past weekend I finally decided to try making it with uncooked rice. This recipe is sort of a work in progress. I decided to go ahead and put it up now since people are clamoring for a recipe and I probably won’t get around to trying it again any time soon since I have more pudding than I know what to do with right now. Which isn’t to say that it’s not worth making again. I just don’t need to be eating that much pudding.
I wanted to use whole spices, and I thought about putting them right in with the milk and rice, but I thought it would be kind of a pain to try to fish them out at the end. I decided to steep them in a little hot water, which I then strained and added to the milk. I realized as soon as I started that I really had no concept of what quantities of spices I would need to flavor a whole pot of rice pudding. I think I guessed right, but I’m not sure if this was the most efficient way to go about it. If you wanted to just use ground spices, I’d probably go with between 1/2 teaspoon and 1 teaspoon of each, depending on your taste. Also I think you could easily add the whole cinnamon sticks and maybe the ginger directly to the pudding and then fish them out at the end, but I don’t know about the cardamom pods. They’d probably get lost in there.
Also I cooked the pudding with a lid on until the rice was cooked through, because brown rice takes so long to cook and I was worried about too much liquid evaporating before the rice was cooked. It took so long for the pudding to thicken though, that I think you could probably cook it uncovered the whole time and it would be fine, and it wouldn’t take quite so long.
- 1 cup short grain brown rice
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- about 8 cardamom pods
- a slice of fresh ginger, about a quarter inch thick
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Lightly crush the cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Put cinnamon, cardamom and ginger in a small sauce pan along with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about ten minutes. Combine rice, milk, honey, and salt in a heavy pot over medium heat. Strain the spice mixture and add the liquid to the pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Turn the heat down as low as possible and cook, stirring every fifteen minutes or so. A skin will form on the top; just stir it back in. Cook until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has thickened, but is still more on the side of liquid. It will thicken as it cools, and if you cook it until it really looks like pudding, it will be like rubber by the time it cools. Mine took over 2 hours, but I left it covered for the first hour or so, and it really didn’t start to thicken at all until after I uncovered it. I think it would be more like an hour and a half if you left it uncovered the whole time.
On a side note, I was glad to learn that I’m not the only one who thinks it’s ok to eat oatmeal cookies for breakfast. And I think its perfectly acceptable to eat rice pudding for breakfast as well.