Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pure And Simple

One of my favorite things to eat and smell is rice pudding. I.LOVE.IT! So much that, I even bought half a dozen candles from Yankee Candle called "Rice Milk". It smells sweet and vanilla-y and yummy!

My grandmother used to make rice pudding with cinnamon water (water with cinnamon sticks simmering in it) and milk, and long grain white rice. It was never as rich as this one, but it wasn't as creamy either. Her version reminds me of my childhood. It was always simple and fuss free- nothing extravagant, but consistently good.

When I was older, I saw rice pudding in the grocery store- Kozy Shack. It was good too, but different. It was creamy and sweet, and had a nice hint of vanilla instead of the cinnamon. I loved it too. My only problem with this was that the rice almost seemed dessicated. It wasn't whole and plump and creamy. So I turned to this recipe to make my own.

Arborio Rice Pudding from Gale Gand
  • 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split*
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 1/2 pint raspberries (optional)

In a large saucepan, place all the ingredients, except the almond extract and raspberries. Bring it to a gentle boil and then turn it down to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom, for about 30 to 40 minutes. Taste the rice to check for oneness. The rice should be very soft and plump.

Take the pudding off the heat and stir in the extract. Pour into dessert bowls and stir in some fresh raspberries. Serve hot, warm, room temp or cold.

NOTE: *I don't have a vanilla bean on hand, so I added a teaspoon full of vanilla extract at the end when the pudding was done cooking. If you add the extract to the milk before it's cooked, the extract will cook away and won't be as flavorful- resulting in a waste of extracts.

If I am missing my grandmother, I'll add a cinnamon stick to the simmering milk. That's the way she used to make it and the cinnamon vanilla milk smell always reminds me of her.

Wanna bite?


Anonymous said...

I LOVE rice pudding and I just bought some aborio rice. Guess what I'll be making soon? :)

Anonymous said...

P.S. I'm adding this to Digg!

Monica H said...

Jenn- what is Digg?

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