A traditional English pudding so I guess it had to be included in English Country Cooking really, right?
Rice Pudding was one of the first things we cooked at school in Home Economics. I used to hate those lessons, I wonder how many children were put off cooking entirely by them? And how many grew to love cooking as a result?
If proof was ever needed of my ability to hoard things away for years, I’ve just been rifling through the ‘recipe book’ we wrote out at school! It’s rather tatty now, but the pages are still intact, and the recipe was right there at the front. I have to say I was rather impressed by my ability to go straight to it, that’s not a common occurrence! I’ve been searching for weeks for some instructions that I’ve evidently put in one of those ‘safe places’ – ugh!
Rice pudding is one you either love or hate, and that may depend entirely on how its made. There is a myriad of ways of making this old-fashioned pudding, from using evaporated milk, to cream and even eggs, with bay leaves, lemon, cinnamon and even sherry to flavour the dish. How do you like yours?
We like ours made very simply with full fat milk – in an ideal world the milk would be straight from the cow or the goat, but at the moment we have neither – so gold top has to do. We also use plain ordinary pudding rice, though again there are many variations now with others using basmati or risotto rice for instance. I once made it with brown rice, the family were not impressed I have to say and I didn’t repeat the exercise. It was a step too far for them in the wholefood department.
This year we’ve made our own rose hip syrup and since it was ready to sample and I’d over bought on the milk front, we thought it was time to have rice pudding and rosehip syrup one more time!
The recipe below is one we’ve adapted over the years from The Reader’s Digest book, The Cookery Year. We’ve got an old first edition of this and its been much used and abused over the years.
- 125g of pudding rice,
- 1 litre of Jersey Goldtop Milk,
- 1/2 tsp of grated nutmeg,
- knob of butter,
- 2 tbsps of vanilla sugar or unrefined castor sugar,
You’ll need to preheat your oven to 325F/170C/Gas3.
Mix all the ingredients except for the nutmeg in a large ovenproof dish or heavy casserole. Sprinkle the nutmeg over the top and pop in the oven to cook. We use the baking oven of the AGA. It needs to cook for around 2 and a half hours or until the rice is thick and creamy and the pudding has formed a brown skin across the top.
It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
We sometimes stick it in the simmering oven so its ready when we come in, and you could also get the same results with a slow cooker.
How to serve:
It’s delicious on its own, perhaps with a drizzle of cream if you are feeling decadent, but you can zap it up with a dash of rosehip syrup, some fruit compote or even a spoonful of home-made jam to give it a little extra zing.
I’ve not tried it yet, but I think rice pudding could be really nice made with coconut milk instead of cow’s milk.