Rice pudding is the best kind of comfort food. Not only is it sweet, rich, and seductive—an indulgent custard that begs to be topped with a spoonful of whipped cream—it’s also easy to make. Rice (long or short grain) is combined with whole milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and cooked until tender. Egg yolks are stirred in to thicken the pudding to a
luxurious consistency, while an extra splash of milk added during the last few minutes of cooking ensures creamy results. Refrigerate the pudding until chilled, then grab a spoon and dig in.
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Best-Ever Rice Pudding
Need to Know
Cook the rice until tender For the best texture, make sure your rice is fully cooked. As it softens, stir it gently to keep the grains from breaking up.
Temper the eggs Whisking the yolks with a bit of the hot rice before adding the yolks to the pot gradually warms (tempers) them and prevents scrambling.
Add more milk A bit of extra milk added toward the end of cooking ensures that the pudding will have a velvety texture when chilled. (If you prefer warm rice pudding, omit this step. The warm temperature will keep the pudding plenty loose and creamy.)
Cool and cover Rice pudding needs to cool completely before it’s refrigerated. To cool it quickly, put the just-cooked pudding in a bowl and set the bowl in an ice bath. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent it from forming a skin as it cools.
Although long-grain rice is the traditional star in rice pudding, you can use any white rice you have in your cupboard (except parboiled or precooked). Different varieties produce different results; these are our favorite options:
Carolina long grain: These grains are long and slim. When cooked, they tend to remain separate, producing a looser custard with fluffy, slightly chewy grains.
Basmati: This long-grain variety originated in East India. When cooked, its grains separate easily and lend a nutty flavor and perfumed note to the pudding.
Jasmine: Another aromatic long-grain rice, this Thai variety produces a pudding with floral notes and a slightly soft, sticky texture.
Arborio: The higher starch content in this fat, round short-grain rice lends the pudding a creamy, somewhat sticky consistency.