Sometimes, you just need to go old-fashioned and make something that has been pleasing big and little people for ages and ages. The beauty of Rice pudding is that it can tick several boxes: dessert, breakfast, snack… it’s a beautiful starter recipe that allows for a number of riffs, even from the same batch.
I use a recipe from a source I love love love, CooksIllustated.com. I’ve been a fan of Cook’s Illustrated pretty much since they started their magazine. I know that ithey turn out only perfect studied recipes … perfect me to spring-board off of (since I am so not good at following recipes; I use them more for ideas than actual specific amounts.)
I’ve been wondering, but haven’t yet tried to make this with other grains that use a similar liquid-to-grain ratio as rice; maybe farro, spelt, or wheat berries? When I try it, I’ll update here.
Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding
Makes 6-8 servings
Original recipe from Cooksillustrated.com
8 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cinnamon stick, optional
½ cup desiccated coconut
3 or 4 inch orange peel
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
5.5 oz long-grain brown rice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Combine milk, sugar, salt and cinnamon stick, if using, in large saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
2. Add coconut, orange peel and vanilla. Stir in rice and reduce heat to low. Cook, adjusting heat to maintain gentle simmer and stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until rice is soft and pudding has thickened to consistency of yogurt, 50 to 60 minutes. Stir in vanilla.
3. Transfer pudding to large bowl and let cool completely, about 2 hours, or let cool and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours longer.
Serving suggestions: Half of the pudding, I served with a spoonful of cherry preserves and cacoa nibs for breakfast. The other half, I sprinkled with raw sugar and bruléed for dessert.