I used to despise the stuff. I thought rice only belonged in savory applications. But then Brad was hungry for rice pudding so I went searching for a recipe.
The first one I made was so gross. It called for beating egg whites and folding them into the cooked rice/egg mixture. That resulted in a runny bottom and foamy top. And it was disgustingly sweet. The chickens had a hay day with that batch.
So then I did what any good (annoying?) daughter does and called up mommy. Of course she had the perfect recipe. Should have gone to her first!
It turns out that the best recipe (in our opinions) is my Grandmother’s. My mom relayed some of her tips and tricks to me and pointed me to the recipe in one of the books I have. It’s actually my grandma’s old church cookbook. I wish she was still living because I’d love to talk rice pudding with her.
My mom said that in more recent years Grandma could no longer find her favorite rice to make pudding. I guess they don’t sell it anymore or something. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to tell the difference because we loved it with regular old white rice. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and creamy.
Adapted from Grandma’s recipe
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 t salt
4 cups WHOLE milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 t vanilla extract
Bring the water to a boil in a medium-large heavy pot. Add rice and salt and cover. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until very soft. If your rice is at all firm, the pudding won’t be as creamy and the rice will be a little tough.
Once rice is soft enough, add the milk and heat to simmering. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar together. Temper the eggs with the hot rice mixture and then pour them into the pot and heat for a few more minutes…until the mixture thickens. Make sure you stir constantly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the vanilla. Fill your sink with a few inches of cold water and set the pot into it. Stir the pudding occasionally until it is completely cool. I don’t know why it’s important to cool your rice pudding quickly but that’s how Grandma did it so I do too.
Once pudding is cool, transfer it to a covered jar or bowl and refrigerate until completely chilled.
Yield: 6 or 7 cups