Saturday, April 30, 2011
rice pudding... yes, I like 'old people' desserts.
This is the rice pudding I made for the party I went to last week. Since I left the house in a wild rush fretting over granola and pudding, I didn't take any photos. Thankfully, someone else did! And yes, I brought individual ramekins. Pudding is so much nicer this way, rather than spooned out of a big bowl of gloppy sloppy-ness. (I just read about 27 pages of Shel Silverstein to Andrew... can you tell??)
Anyway, on to the recipe. I've gotten three requests for this over the past week, so apparently I'm not the only one who liked it!
1 cup of brown rice (I used Hannaford brand organic long grain brown, any type would work I think but I wanted the nuttiness of brown, plus the whole grain nutrition)
2 cups of water
Boil the water, add rice and a dash of salt. Cook at a simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Almost all of the water should be absorbed.
1 cup of heavy cream
4 cups of whole or 2% milk
1/2 to 3/4 cups sugar, depending on how sweet you want the pudding to be (I think I used 1/2 cup then threw in a little extra. That's how I generally do things which, unfortunately, doesn't translate well to written recipes! Sorry!)
the scraped out 'caviar' of one vanilla bean. Or maybe 1-2 tsp of vanilla extract. But, really, I recommend the real thing. It costs a fortune but tastes so different and SO much better. Plus those little black flecks make it so pretty. If you are using extract, wait until you are done cooking the pudding to stir it in, otherwise it will all evaporate out. Extracts are alcohol based, alcohol evaporates at a much lower temp than the boiling point of most other common edible liquids... sorry, the Food Scientist in me escapes once in a while!
Now, you have Rice Soup. Don't despair (as I did!), it WILL turn to pudding. Cook over medium to medium low heat (maintain a gentle boil) for at least 30 minutes. Stir (almost constantly) as often as you can stand to being sure to not burn the bottom or wait so long that a film forms on the top. I hate to stir constantly, so I took the bare minimum route here, which may have been why my pudding took almost 45 minutes to pud' up. When the soup has reduced to a nice thick porridge looking mixture its probably a good time to stop. The pudding will set up just a bit more as it cools, and if its over cooked, you will lose some of the texture of the individual rice grains against the creamy part. Spoon or ladle into individual bowls or ramekins. I recommend letting it sit at room temperature for an hour or so, then topping with fresh whipped cream (1 cup heavy cream whipped with about 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar) and maybe some fresh berries... I actually had these for the party but left them at home in my haste that evening. Haste makes waste... or fresh berries with yogurt for breakfast the next day! You could also refrigerate the pudding. I did with the leftovers and ate some 4 days later. It was just as good, so I can say with confidence that it should keep for 4 days.
btw, I would not recommend making this for the first time when you are on a schedule. Rushing, fretting and bad hair at a social function may result.