Making Rice Pudding

Americans often have a tough time making rice pudding since our long grain rice tends not to bake up well when it’s added to custard in its raw state. The solution: make rice pudding with cooked rice. The result is every bit as delicious, plus it’s convenient if you order out a lot of Chinese food. The individual rice grains tend to maintain their integrity at bit more — i.e. are a bit chewier — but I like the contrast. Here I should note that everyone has their own favorite version from childhood. I’m not putting this forward as the standard by which all rice puddings should be judged. It happens to be one I like.


Rice Pudding Recipe

Like all custards rice pudding can be either stirred (made on the stovetop in a saucepan) or still (baked in a dish in the oven). Personally I like a baked rice pudding since you get a greater variety of textures: a browned top, moist center, firm sides…oh yes much more interesting than a typical stirred pudding. The recipe goes like this:

2 eggs
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3.5 ounces (1/2 cup) sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest (optional)
7.5 ounces (1 1/2 cups) cooked rice
2.5 ounces (1/2 cup) raisins
cinnamon for dusting