Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rice Pudding

Okay, so I'll be honest in saying that Rice Pudding is not typically my favorite dessert.  BUT, it's my mom's favorite, so I learned how to make it so that she could enjoy it---even if Mama Fina isn't in town.

Rice pudding has very few ingredients, which makes it pretty easy and incredibly economical, once you get the hang of it.  One batch can easily provide dessert for 6-8 people in those cute little ramekins.  The trick is all about the liquid to rice ratio.

Things You'll Need:

4 oz. white rice (short grain is best - like what you would use to make risotto)
1 1/2 cp. water (to start)
2 cups of whole milk (you can probably get away with 2% to lighten this up a tad, but don't go below that.  Just keep your portions small and you'll be fine!)
3/4 cp. sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
the peel of half of a lime

Nutrional Information (based on 6 servings): 215 cal., 2.8g fat, 43.8g carbs, 4g. protein.

Combine rice and 1 1/2 cups of water in medium sized pot.  Make sure you rinse your rice thoroughly before you begin.  If this sounds crazy to you, you're missing an important step.  Swirl the rice around in the pot with just your fingers.  If the water gets murky, rinse again!  It should be pretty clear before you continue.  Okay, I'm done lecturing now.  On with the rest of the recipe. =)

Bring rice, cinnamon stick, salt and lime peel to a boil on medium-high heat.  Once you reach a solid boil, turn your heat down to maintain a simmer.  At this point, you don't need to stir constantly.  Just occasionally. 

Keep the simmer going, maintaining a close eye on your rice to water ratio.  Your rice should always be covered with water to the point where it was when you started for the majority of this process.  Otherwise, the rice will stick to the bottom and that would not make for a good rice pudding.  Simmer on low until your rice plumps up and is al dente.  This should take about 15-20 mins.

This is what the rice will look like after 15-20 mins.

After your rice reaches the proper consistency, you can start adding your milk a little at a time.  Add about a half cup at a time.  The rice will absorb the milk pretty quickly.  It will take another 5-10 minutes to add all the milk so that the rice absorbs all that good flavor.  (Note: don't drown the rice.  Just add enough to keep the rice covered with the liquid).

Lastly, add the sugar and vanilla.  This is where your personal taste will come in.  I like mine sweet, so I added a little more than the recipe calls for.  Simmer this last step for another 5-10 minutes until your rice takes on all of those good flavors and reaches a creamy consistency.  Take off the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes.  You can then spoon into your favorite ramekins.  We like to sprinkle ours with a little cinnamon on top.  Enjoy it warm or cold, but I personally like it hot.

Sorry this isn't a better picture of the finished product...Baby Hudson was screaming by this point!

Okay, this is making me crave something sweet!! This recipe can seem a little daunting because it really isn't one of those recipes that calls for exact measurements.  You really have to go a lot by feel and taste.  But try it!  It's creamy and yummy and a great comfort food dessert!

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