Baked Rice Pudding

 Pudding in serving bowls has extra milk added to it for a looser consistency.

Pudding in serving bowls has extra milk added to it for a looser consistency.

Is it snowing where you are (again)? Do you live in a city where you can't make snow cream because you don't even have your own garden, much less a clean place to gather snow from? Are you also not really sure what snow cream even is?

JOIN THE CLUB and get on the rice pudding train with me. Rice pudding is a traditional pudding in the American sense of the word, a baked custard-rice mixture topped with cinnamon and nutmeg and it's awesome. I had never had rice pudding until I was well into my teenage years, and I don't really know why that is- I mean, it's never on the menu at restaurants, but why had no one I knew ever made it?

But anyway, it's not exactly a thing you want to serve at a party, and supermarkets in both the US and the UK always have the pre-made version in stock, so I guess it just never occurred to me to make my own, which is stupid because it's gotta be easy, right?

It is.

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But what sets this version apart is that it's baked- while loads of recipes for baked rice pudding exist, I've definitely never had a baked version, but after this I might never go back. After combining the liquid ingredients with the rice, the whole thing is put in the oven for an hour, which is enough time to caramelise the top and dry out some of the excess liquid, making a thicker, denser finished pudding that's more like a crème brulée than a traditional rice pudding. If you prefer yours looser in texture, it's easy to add a drizzle of milk when you serve it to mimic the more common stovetop pudding varieties. Served straight from the oven, it was warming and cosy and a perfect afternoon snack to eat while we watched the snow fall... but I'd be lying if I told you I didn't eat it straight from the fridge the following morning for breakfast.

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You should definitely make this pudding this week. Serve it hot or serve it cold, it's good either way. I'm already planning a version made with coconut rice and coconut milk, and I can't wait. This is comfort food perfect for when the weather outside has you never wanting to leave your house again, and the best part is that you probably have nearly all the ingredients in your refrigerator already.

The verdict:

5 spoons out of five. Now that I know how easy rice pudding is to make, I'm gonna make it all the time.

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One year ago: toll house marble squares
two years ago: Asian chicken two ways

the recipe:

Baked Rice Pudding

the directions:

Cook the rice according to the directions on the package- if you have a cinnamon stick, pop it in the rice pot to infuse the rice.
Once rice has cooked, drain any extra water, remove the cinnamon stick and refrigerate until needed to cool the rice so you don't scramble your eggs later.
Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
Beat eggs until light yellow and creamy, then add sugar.
Beat until smooth, then add the vanilla and ½ cup (118ml) milk.
Beat thoroughly until uniform consistency.
Add cooled rice gradually and beat on low speed approximately 1 minute until rice is broken up.
Add remaining 2 cups (470ml) milk and stir well to combine.
Mixture will be VERY liquid.
Pour into an 8-inch baking dish with high sides or a 9-inch dish (I used a tart pan).
Give it a stir in the pan to make sure the rice isn't clumped together.
Sprinkle top generously with nutmeg.
Fill a separate baking dish with water and place on the shelf below the pudding.
Bake 50-60 minutes until the middle jiggles only slightly when nudged (a knife inserted in the middle should come out sticky, but no liquid should leak from the hole).
Top will be quite browned and caramelised.
Serve immediately while warm or refrigerate and serve cold, either way with extra nutmeg or cinnamon on top and a drizzle more milk if needed to loosen.

the ingredients:

1 c (180g) uncooked white rice
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
3 eggs
1 c (200g) sugar (this makes a pretty sweet pudding; if you'd prefer it slightly less so, you can cut it to ¾ c)
2 ½ c (590ml) milk, divided
1 tbsp vanilla
Nutmeg