Hello friends, and welcome to Pudding Time with Mikaela. I mean...welcome to the Fox Fix. Because we make other things besides pudding here. Sometimes.
I don't mind telling you that I love rice pudding. In the vast world of rice pudding, I hold two puddings in very high esteem: Kozy Shack for its chilled custardy goodness, and Rice to Riches, for its mod decor and abundance of flavors. The thing these two puddings have in common are a creamy consistency with enough structure to allow piling of rice pudding high on the spoon.
And now for a shocking confession: I have never encountered a home-made rice pudding that meets these standards. They're always a little dry for my taste. In college, I went through gallons of milk and tons of rice in search of pudding perfection, puzzled at my roommates' pleas for health food. "What on earth is unhealthy about milk and rice?" I asked. Half the world survives on it, after all.
And so I'll say it again: I have never encountered a home-made rice pudding that met my standards of excellence.
That is...UNTIL. NOW.
Bumbadummmmmmmm! I'm so very excited to reveal that I have met my pudding match! After countless hours grueling over hot stoves stirring simmering pots of sweet rice, of tempering eggs and counting rice grains, I have found you rice pudding.
Recently I have been thinking that the secret to perfect pudding would be gobs of egg yolks and excessive cream, and while that didn't bode well for my fitness goals, I was willing to make the sacrifice just to finally know the answer. Well, fortunately for you and me, the answer is much simpler than that. And less caloric. It turns out grandma really did know best. See, I realized my problem was a matter of ratios- I was trying to cook waaaayyyy too much rice in my milk, which is why the leftovers always hardened into a solid mass in the fridge. Don't underestimate the power of the rice. A little goes a looooong way.
It's important to choose the right kind of rice- the wrong kind won't have the right texture and even worse, won't thicken the milk. Use a medium or short grained rice- arborio or sushi rice are perfect. I use sushi rice because it's easy to find in the international aisle of the grocery and is cheaper than arborio. I love the results.
After much experimenting, I present you with the recipe. It takes a bit, but it's soooo worth it.
4 cups whole milk (surprisingly, with this recipe, even lower fat milks will work, though I wouldn't use exclusively skim. Because we have both in the house, I usually use 3 cups whole, one cup skim)
1/2 cup sugar
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup sushi rice (or arborio or other short or medium grained rice)
1 t vanilla extract
optional cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon.
Combine the milk, sugar, beaten egg and salt in a large saucepan and mix thoroughly. Heat over medium heat until the milk is almost simmering. Then add your (seemingly measly but actually perfect) 1/3 cup rice. Stir. Reduce heat to very, very low. You want the surface of the mixture to be moving faintly but not boiling. Now you wait. And stir.
Continue cooking the mixture, stirring about every 5 minutes, for 45 min to an hour. It usually takes me about 50 minutes. Remove the pudding from heat when it is thickened but not to the point you'd like it to be when you eat it. It still needs to be a little loose. I tried to take a picture of the perfect consistency:
Still a little liquidy, but you can see the rice grains holding their own on the surface when you stir it. Once you remove it from the heat, it will continue thickening. After about 15 minutes just sitting on the counter, this is what it looked like:
Eat your pudding warm or place it in a covered container in the fridge. It won't chunk up on you! It's delicious cold too! This picture was taken the day after I made the pudding:
Still creamy, amazing deliciousness. Perfect consistency. Even better than when I first made it, actually. Simple ingredients were the key.
Also, it's amazing how much milk those rice grains suck up, they practically triple in size.
Also, it's totally doable to double the recipe, but beware doing that, because you may eat all of it.
Go make it! Tell me how it turned out! Did it change your life?