Rice Pudding is a lovely creamy dessert. In the UK it is most usually baked in the oven and a lovely dark skin forms on the top. The skin can be contentious, since some people love it and others hate it. Sometimes it is made on the stove top, in which case no skin will form. But the stove top version lacks something in creaminess, in my opinion.
The pudding is mostly served hot, or warm, in the UK though any leftovers are also eaten cold. In Canada and the USA I believe rice pudding is served cold, and it made on the stove top.
In fact almost any type of rice will work for a rice pudding, but with different outcomes depending on the size of the grains.
For my rice pudding I decided to do it the more usual way, in the oven. Although it takes a time, as the pudding is baked on quite a low heat, it does create a wonderfully creamy dessert, which is very easy to make.
Rice is available in long-grain, medium-grain and short-grain varieties.The rice used should be a short-grain rice, which in the UK is known as pudding rice. If that is not available then arborio rice is a good alternative, though it may need longer cooking.
As well as rice the other mainstay of the pudding is milk. Which milk can be varied according to taste and preference. For mine I used a combination of double cream, evaporated milk and semi-skimmed milk. The ratio of each type used can also be varied. The cream gives a richness, while the evaporated milk provides sweetness and a slight caramel flavour. The remaining milk, in my case semi-skimmed is to provide enough liquid to cook the rice through and allow it to swell to the correctly consistency.
Having thought about it a little I think that alternative milks, such as almond or coconut would also work well. Indeed the pudding can also have some water instead of milk, but again with a different outcome.
My rice pudding turned out so well. It had a rich creamy flavour, enhanced the nutmeg which was grated on the top before baking. The rice was soft and swollen and had absorbed all the flavours and sweetness.
Although nutmeg is the traditional spice to be grated on the top of the pudding in the UK I think other spices cold be used too, if desired.
I used an oven-proof glass dish for baking my rice pudding, but a metal pan, or a ceramic one can be used too. Because the pans will heat up differently it can be necessary to adjust baking time to accomodate that. For my glass pan 2 1/2 hours was enough time. For a metal pan I would suggest a slightly shorter time, by about 15 minutes as it will heat up quicker.
Another lovely cream-based dessert is my Lemon Posset Tart
Creamy Rice PuddingCourse: DessertsDifficulty: Easy
150g(3/4 cup) short-grain rice(pudding rice)
410g (14 oz) can of evaporated milk
450ml (2 cups minus 2 tbsp) double cream
400ml(1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp) semi-skimmed milk(or milk of choice)
50g(1/4 cup) caster or granulated sugar
28g(2 tbsp) butter in cubes
grated whole nutmeg to taste(I used half a nutmeg)
- Preheat the oven to 150C/300F.
- Thoroughly butter an ovenproof dish that has a capacity of at least 1.5 litres (mine was 24cm x 19 cm(just over 9 x 7 inches) measured across the top.
- Place the rice and sugar into the baking pan and then pour in the cream, evaporated milk and the remaining milk.
- Stir everything around.
- Drop the cubes of butter onto the top.
- Grate nutmeg over the surface.
- Bake the pudding in the oven for a total of 2 1/2 hours(or 2 1/4 hours if using a metal pan).
- After 45 minutes of baking gently stir the pudding, breaking the skin that should have already formed. Then continue making for the remaining time.
- Remove the pudding from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving hot/warm, or let it cool completely if serving cold.