Today's recipe is an companion to today's Ingredient Function Friday (Saturday) where I am talking about Nutmeg. Most custards respond well to a little hint of nutmeg. That's why you see it in recipes for Quiche Lorraine and old fashioned (oh so yummy) Custard Pies and this delicious rice pudding.
This is not a show stopping holiday dessert. Because I have a feeling that by now you are exhausted and not as interested in show stoppers as you might have been two weeks ago.
Don't worry we will get back to them - but it's too late in the game to bust out meringue mushrooms. Let's take a breath. This rice pudding recipe is perfect to make in between Christmas and New Years. It's real comfort food, no not real it's total comfort food.
In my small family, we make it every time we need recuperate from an exhausting or challenging event.
Once Christmas day has come and gone...you may want to make this and then settle back with a bowl, throw an afghan over your legs and savor bite after creamy bite. You can think about the diets and the resolutions on New Years Day but not yet. You may need seconds depending on how stressful your holiday has been so far.
I got this recipe from my wonderful boss, Chef Pamela, who got it from one of her bridge partners. Chef Pamela took to bridge at a young age but her bridge partners are up in years. This recipe is Helen's Grandmother's recipe which means it could easily be 80-85 years old.
What makes this so special...well after the rice is cooked, it all goes in the oven, in a water bath. It is very civilized, no stovetop cooking, no scorched pot and the custard rises like a shelf above a creamy rice layer. I use golden raisins but you could leave them out if you are not a raisin person.
Equipment: double boiler****, medium size mixing bowl, whisk, baking dish (approx. 11"x7") and a larger pan (9"x13") or larger for the water bath, tea strainer or small sifter for dusting the nutmeg and cinnamon on top.
I have never made it in individual custard cups but I suppose you could. Just shorten the baking time. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees (no convection).
- 1 quart whole milk + 2 ounces additional, only if you are cooking your rice in the milk
- 1/3 cup long grain rice (75g)
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 4 ounces sugar
- 1/2 cup golden raisins - (about 2.7 ounces) you could up this to 3 ounces and no one will complain
- Cinnamon and nutmeg
- just a little butter for the dish.
- Set up the double boiler, add 1 quart milk and 1/2 up rice and cook over simmering water until the rice is cooked (about 30 minutes) ****Important notes: you can cook the rice over direct heat but leave the flame low and stir often. Also leftover cooked rice (unseasoned, like takeout rice) can also be used. Heat the milk and leftover rice together before proceeding with the recipe.
- In the mixing bowl combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix in the rice and milk mixture (let it cool a little first so that it does not cook the eggs, 2 additional ounces of milk (the milk does evaporate a little when you cook the rice) and raisins.
- Lightly butter the 11"x7" pan and pour in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg. dig out the nutmeg grater and the knob of nutmeg for this if you have one hanging around your pantry. If not already ground will work too. How much? After dusting with cinnamon then sprinkle or grate a little nutmeg over the cinnamon. Don't overdo on either.
- Nestle the small pan into the big one and fill it up 1/2 way with hot tap water. Place carefully in the oven and bake for about 1 hour. I check at 45 minutes. It should "jiggle like jello, not ripple like soup". Another test is to stick a knife almost in the center and it should come out clean - I like the jiggle method better but I felt I should mention the knife test too.
- Carefully remove the pudding from the hot water bath. Place on a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Wrap with plastic wrap, poke small holes in the plastic wrap (helps prevent condensation) and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.