Baked Rice Pudding

A bunch of people end up on this site after doing a search for ‘best rice pudding’ or ‘world’s best rice pudding’. I bet they’re disappointed when they arrive at my posting and find out that I didn’t think it was a very good recipe at all.

This means there are two reasons for trying out some new rice pudding recipes:
so people searching for a good recipe can find this one instead of the first one I tried; and
so I have a rice pudding recipe I like.

I decided to try the rice pudding from English Food by Jane Grigson. It ended up being too mushy and not quite sweet enough for me, though I did like the incredible vanilla-ness of the pudding. It was an improvement over the first recipe posted.

This is what happened.

Got some Arborio rice.

Arborio rice.

Arborio rice.

And a vanilla pod…

Vanilla pod.

Vanilla pod.

which was split open to let the seeds get out more easily.

Vanilla seeds.

Vanilla seeds.

Instead of plain white sugar, I used vanilla sugar to boost the flavour.

Vanilla sugar.

Vanilla sugar.

Into the dish.

Rice, sugar and vanilla pod.

Rice, sugar and vanilla pod.

Butter goes in too.

Butter.

Butter.

As does milk.

Milk.

Milk.

Already some of the vanilla seeds are free and floating around in the milk.

Milk with vanilla seeds.

Milk with vanilla seeds.

Rice pudding after the first hour.

After the first hour.

After the first hour.

And after the second hour.

After the second hour.

After the second hour.

Served.

Rice pudding from Jane Grigson's recipe.

Rice pudding from Jane Grigson’s recipe.

The quest for my favourite rice pudding continues.

This recipe is from English Food by Jane Grigson. First published in 1974.

Baked Rice Pudding

75 g (2-1/2 oz.) round pudding rice
About 1 litre (1-1/2 – 2 pints) Channel Island milk
30 g (1 oz.) butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla pod, split, or 1 cinnamon stick

Put the rice with just over half the milk and the remaining ingredients into a heat-proof stoneware or glass dish. Leave in a gentle oven, mark 1, 140°C (275°F), for 3 hours. After 1 hour, stir up the pudding and add more milk to slacken the mixture. After 2 hours, do the same thing again and, if you like, add some single cream. Butter and cream are what form the delicious skin. Serve with a jug of double cream.

If you reduce the heat, say, to mark 1/2, 120°C (250°F), or even lower, you can leave the rice pudding in the oven for twice as long. Add more milk occasionally; you may need 1-1/2 litres (2-1/2 pints). Beneath the crust, the rice will caramelize slightly to an appetizing brown.

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