I want to make rice pudding and I don't know how!
February 17, 2010 5:47 PM   Subscribe

My SO loves rice pudding, and I would love to make him some. But I don't have a good recipe or know any secret techniques for making it come out fantastic. Can you help? I'm a good cook, but have never made pudding from scratch before, so keep it simple if you can, okay?
posted by DrGail to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
My Mom always made excellent rice pudding this way, using cooked rice we got from the local Chinese restaurant:

2 cups leftover cooked white rice
3 cups milk (any kind)*
1/2 cup sugar
small pinch salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg, optional

Combine cooked rice, milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and stir in the vanilla and raisins. Cook until just about all of the milk is absorbed (30-45 minutes, depending on how absorbent your rice is). Stir in cinnamon and/or nutmeg, if using.
Divide rice pudding into individual serving dishes serve warm or chilled.
Makes 4-6 servings.

(PS the raisins are optional; I prefer my rice pudding without them.)
posted by Oriole Adams at 5:54 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm looking forward to all the tips and recipes your question will garner, but if it's applicable in your SO's case, don't forget to find out how his mom made it! (Or, you know, whoever was making it when he fell in love with it.)
posted by chudmonkey at 5:54 PM on February 17, 2010

You want starchy rice for a good, creamy rice pudding. That means short grain or medium grain rice. This is vitally important, as making it with long grain makes it taste dry and chunky.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:01 PM on February 17, 2010

Arborio rice.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:04 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

This is the best rice pudding I've ever made.
posted by whiskeyspider at 6:06 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's really rich, so don't complain. I have no idea what happens when you use low and no-fat milk.


Evaporated milk
Unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I use a 2 quart sauce pan; it needs to be able to go in the oven.

Use about a cup or a cup and a half of rice. I use jasmine now, I used to use Uncle Ben's converted before I saw the light. Goya medium grain is fine. Don't use a long grain rice or instant.

I use enough evaporated milk to almost fill the pan. I've also used combinations of evaporated milk, whole milk, cream, and/or half and half. I've never done it with just milk, but it should work.

I add some sugar. I'd say maybe 3/4 to a whole cup. Depends on how sweet you like it. Taste it. It needs to be a little bit sweeter than you think, but not enough to give you a cavity. Then sprinkle some nutmeg. A teaspoon or two of vanilla. Stir it all together. Pour in the rice, stir it around, put in about half to 3/4 a stick of butter, put it in the oven.

You're going to stir the rice every 15 minutes or so until it's done. First the butter will melt and float to the top and you'll break the rice up on the bottom. Each time you stir it, you'll find that it's made a golden colored skin on top which you stir back into the milk while moving the rice around.

Over time the rice will begin to absorb the milk and the "skin" will turn a deeper and deeper golden color until almost all the milk is gone and the rice is soft and creamy. The more butter you add, the creamier it will get. Feel free to taste it to check for the doneness of the rice. In the last half hour you can add raisins (use golden if you don't want regular raisins to ruin the color).

When it's done to your liking, take it out of the oven. Serve warm.

Note. At Christmas time you can use the eggnog they sell for the milk base. You need to add alot more sugar and I wouldn't use alcohol.
posted by elle.jeezy at 6:42 PM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

1/2 cup rice
2 cups warm water
1 cup sugar
2 inch piece of cinammon stick
4 cups milk
1/2 cup raisins
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Soak rice in water ro 15 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water. Combine sugar, cinnamon and milk to medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and add rice, reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat until rice is very tender but mixture is still quite liquid (20 minutes or so). Stir in raisins, egg yolks* and vanilla. Cook, uncovered until it begins to boil again. Remove from heat. Serve warm or chilled.

I would remove some liquid and stir in the egg yolks to temper, then add to pan.
posted by Allee Katze at 6:54 PM on February 17, 2010

elle.jeezy's recipe is different from my family's, but cooking the rice in evaporated milk is our way too. (I think it has to be the evaporated (canned) kind, so it cooks without scalding at a high enough temperature to cook the rice.) It makes the rice (short rice is best, I agree) really blend with the richness of the pudding.

But unlike elle.jeezy's recipe, we cook the rice before adding all the other ingredients to make the pudding -- this way, the rice kernels keep their integrity a bit (which I like).

So for any of the other recipes here, that start with cooked rice, I think you could make the rice this way (we do 1/2 evaporated milk & 1/2 water for the cooking liquid). Then go ahead and follow your recipe (you'd use all the other ingredients, including any milk, wherever your recipe calls for it). Note, evaporated milk is different from condensed milk; it isn't sweetened.
posted by Bet Glenn at 7:07 PM on February 17, 2010

Alton Brown's recipe is great. (NB: I usually put in slightly less cardamon than is called for.) This is Indian-style rice pudding, so it is more liquid-y than western rice pudding, but it is delicious to a ridiculous degree.
posted by kitty teeth at 8:24 PM on February 17, 2010

You don't absolutely need short grain so long as you have enough liquid and you cook the rice long enough -- it'll get soft and creamy in time. I put some cooked rice in a pot, pour some milk over it (about a 1:2 ratio, I'd say). Throw in a bit of nutmeg, cardamom, raisins if you like, and simmer over low-medium heat for at least 30 minutes until thick and gloopy. Stir now and then. At the end, a little orange zest or rose essence.

I use long grain jasmine rice, as that's the default rice in my house. And I use lactose-free milk which is sweet enough for me already, so I don't add any sugar. You can add a splash of coconut milk if you like too.
posted by emeiji at 8:27 PM on February 17, 2010

Smitten Kitchen also has a good recipe.
posted by killy willy at 9:49 PM on February 17, 2010

It depends where your SO heralds from, as rice pudding varies from place to place, but if he's of British extraction, St Delia's recipe, with evaporated milk and a caramel skin on top, is possibly what you're after.
posted by holgate at 10:33 PM on February 17, 2010

Here's Margaret Fultons' recipe if you want to see how Aussies do it*:

4 tbsp short-grain rice (that's 16 tsp - our tablespoons are 4 teaspoons, not 3)
1 tbsp (4tsp) sugar
3.5 cups milk
15 g / 0.5 oz butter
1 tbsp (4 tsp) cream

Place rice in buttered pie dish. Add sugar and milk and stir well. Add butter in small pieces and top with nutmeg. Bake in a preheated oven at 160oC / 325 oF for 1.5 hrs, stirring every 30 mins. Stir well, add the cream then cook for a further 30 mins. Serve with cream or jam.

(*OK, we really just open a can of Parsons...)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:42 AM on February 18, 2010

By the way, don't use sushi rice. I know, because this post made me feel like rice pudding, and I was out of arborio, figured 'hey, it's short grain'. Maybe it'll come good in an extra half an hour or so, but I doubt it.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:33 AM on February 18, 2010

This recipe from the BBC is the easiest one I know


55g/2oz pudding rice (short grain)
55g/2oz sugar
600ml/1 pint full-fat milk
grated nutmeg
small amount of butter

1. Mix rice and sugar in a baking dish and pour on milk. Grate nutmeg of the top and dot with three or four bits of butter.
2. Bake in the oven for at least 1 hour at 160-180C/325-350F/Gas3-4. You can cook it for longer at a lower heat.

If you prefer, you can replace some of the milk with cream or evaporated milk for a fuller, sweeter dish. A nice twist is coconut and lime rice. Just replace around half of the milk with coconut milk and add some grated lime zest.
posted by Jakey at 6:36 AM on February 18, 2010

...and it came good. Better the next day. I'll stick with arborio, though.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:53 AM on February 19, 2010

The America's Test Kitchen Recipe. I have made it several times, and it comes out excellent. You might be able to find the show segment online. Side note: ATK is my go-to source for recipes, and they have never failed me.


We prefer pudding made from medium-grain rice, but long-grain is perfectly acceptable if that’s what you happen to have on hand.

Sereves 6 to 8
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup medium-grain rice (white), or long grain white rice
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Bring 2 cups water to boil in large, heavy-bottomed pot (at least 3 quarts) or small soup kettle (4 to 5 quarts). Stir in salt and rice; cover and simmer over low heat, stirring once or twice until water is almost fully absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Add milk, half-and-half and sugar. Increase heat to medium-high to bring to simmer, then reduce heat to maintain simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until mixture starts to thicken, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring every couple of minutes to prevent sticking and scorching, until a spoon is just able to stand up in the pudding, about 15 minutes longer.

3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Cool and serve at room temperature or chilled. (Can be covered with plastic wrap on surface of pudding and then refrigerated up to 2 days.)
posted by I am the Walrus at 7:23 AM on February 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

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