Rice pudding is delicious and incredibly cheap and easy to make. It is also extremely versatile. You can make all kinds of awesome flavor variations with toppings like toasted coconut, pistachios, mango, ground cardamom etc. Instead of milk you can even use coconut milk or sweetened condensed milk. Instead of sugar you can use maple syrup. Experiment and see what flavors you like best. The combinations are endless. Once you learn how to make rice pudding from scratch you won’t have to keep buying a tub of Kozy Shack or Ambrosia brand at the store every time you crave some.
This amazing stovetop rice pudding recipe produces grains of rice that are tender and a pudding that has the perfect degree of sweetness. While I believe that medium-grain rice produces the best texture, use short-grain rice such as arborio if you prefer your rice pudding extra creamy.
Rice pudding can be found served all around the world. However, in some countries it is called sweet rice porridge. Here in the United States, rice pudding is so popular that there are entire shops that sell nothing but rice pudding in a multitude of flavors. One of these shops is Rice to Riches in New York City. We love rice pudding so much that August 9th was even deemed National Rice Pudding Day!
What do you like in your rice pudding? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post!
- 1 cup rice - medium grain (short grain if you like your rice pudding very creamy)
- 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 cups milk - whole or 2%
- 1/4 cup raisins - (optional) use 1/2 if you like raisins
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
Add the water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
Add the rice and salt and stir.
Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat down to low to just simmer. Set your timer for 15 minutes. Every 5 minutes, lift the lid and stir the rice and put the lid back on.
After 15-20 minutes your rice should look like the picture on the left. The rice should not be dry, but still be moist with a little water remaining.
Put the pot lid away as you no longer need it. Add the half-and-half, milk, and sugar and stir well. Bring up the heat to medium-high until simmering. Then reduce the heat as needed to maintain a simmer.
A simmer is just below a boil in terms of temperature. What you want to see are bubbles slowly coming to the surface and steam rising out of the pot. Set the timer for 30 minutes. During this time, keep the simmer going, adjusting the heat as needed, while stirring frequently.
After 30 minutes you will notice that the mixture will start to thicken up.
Turn the heat to low and set the timer for an additional 15 minutes. At this point be sure to stir the mixture at least every minute or two to prevent a skin from forming on the top and to prevent the bottom from burning.
After 15 minutes you can start testing to see if it is done. To test, insert a spoon in the middle of the mixture. If the spoon stays up on its own, or almost stays up on its own, go ahead and take it off the heat. However, if you like thick rice pudding, cook the rice pudding until the spoon can stay up without falling over.
Stir in the vanilla extract and cinnamon.
If you want to add raisins but don't like their chewiness, boil some water, add the water to a bowl and add the raisins in to soak for 5-10 minutes. Instead of water you could heat up some dark rum and allow the raisins to soak in it.
Once the raisins have plumped up, you can stir them into your finished rice pudding.
Here is the finished rice pudding. You can serve the rice pudding warm or chill it in the refrigerator. The rice pudding will thicken in the fridge as it cools. If you are going to refrigerate the rice pudding, be sure to put the plastic wrap right up against the top of it. This will prevent any skin from forming.
If the rice pudding is too thick when serving, you can loosen it up by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of warm or cool milk.
Now that you have learned how to make rice pudding, please be sure to view these other pudding recipes.
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