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Classic Rice Pudding

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Serves four.

When using a vanilla bean, I like to leave it in the pudding and then scrape out the seeds after the pudding has cooled. The seeds scrape out more easily from the softened bean, and the pudding gets an additional boost from the extra time the bean sits in it. This pudding is great as is, but can also be dressed up in dozens of ways (for a few ideas, see Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango, Coffee Rice Pudding, and the variations below).

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup raw medium-grain white rice
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, or 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Dump the milk, rice, salt, and split vanilla bean into a large, heavy saucepan (if you're using vanilla extract, don't add it yet). Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue simmering, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and the pudding is reduced to about 3-1/2 cups, about 8 minutes. It's important to let the pudding simmer gently, not boil, and you'll need to stir constantly toward the end of cooking to prevent scorching.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract (if using). Slowly add the cooked rice mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, making sure to scrape the bowl. Set the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of the spoon, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the pudding to a bowl or serving dish and lay a sheet of plastic wrap right on the pudding's surface to prevent a skin from forming. If you've used a vanilla bean, fish it out when the pudding has cooled, scrape out the seeds, and stir the scrapings into the pudding. Discard the empty bean. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Variations

Swedish-Style Rice Pudding: Whip 3/4 cup cold heavy cream until it forms medium-firm peaks. Gently fold it into a batch of the chilled rice pudding.
Raspberry Parfait Rice Pudding: In four small wineglasses or parfait cups, alternately layer the chilled rice pudding and fresh raspberries, starting with the pudding and finishing with a few raspberries. (For a special touch, garnish with a nasturtium or another edible flower.)
Rice Pudding Soufflé: Heat the oven to 400°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a shallow 2-qt. baking dish; dust with sugar. Whip the whites of three large eggs until foamy. Continue to beat on high speed while gradually adding 2 Tbs. sugar. Beat the whites until they form medium-firm peaks. Gently fold the whites into a well-chilled batch of rice pudding. Spoon into the prepared dish; bake until puffed and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 330, Fat (kcal): 11, Fat Calories (g): 100, Saturated Fat (g): 6, Protein (g): 11, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3, Carbohydrates (mg): 47, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 200, Cholesterol (g): 140, Fiber (g): 0,

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is the best rice pudding recipe I've found, with tweaks. After making it several times and experimenting with proportions, I've got it just perfect. 6 cups milk, 1 cup rice (always, always use sushi rice), 3 egg yolks and the same amount of sugar, 1/3 cup. As the previous reviewer mentioned, it definitely needs to cook longer. I gently simmered covered for 40 minutes. And I always use vanilla bean. Perfect consistency, enough for leftovers and none too sweet!

I just made this pudding. This is the easiest and best tasting Rice Pudding I've had in a long time.I had to tweak it just a tad, and it would have gotten 5 stars but I had to adjust the sugar to a little less than what the recipe called for and I added cinnamon and nutmeg. The cooking time was WAY off.I cooked this rice mixture for at least an hr, stirring off and on . I also had to increase the cooking temp a bit, to get it to thicken the way it was suppose to after rice was very close to tender. The only thing I'm upset about is that I didn't double the recipe like I started too. This is surly a keeper. To the Person that did not get your pudding thick, I think that you may need to lengthen your cooking time and it will be just fine. Making another batch as we speak.

(I did give this 5 stars. For some reason they keep disappearing.) Just made this today and it came out great. The times were pretty much right on, although it thickened up during cooking so much I had to shorten the 8 min down to about 6, but that was due to the fact I added more rice to it, between 2/3 and 3/4 rice (long-grained enriched white). I cut down the sugar to 1/4 cup as well. I had to add a little more milk at the end as it became a little too thick due to the extra rice.I also added raisins at the end. I will definitely be making this again. I never got a chance to get my grandmother's recipe, but the way this turned out is pretty darn close. P.S. The cat really likes it, too. He just doesn't get any raisins.

I have been searching for 'healthier' dessert recipes for my young toddler so that I can give her an alternative to yoghurt with fruit. This recipe is great because it is very clear, precise in its instruction but offers scope for some variety. I used white Jasmine rice, as it was all I had, and it turned out very well indeed! Cooking time was a good deal longer than the recipe states, but that could be due to the type of rice I used or perhaps I didn't heat the milk to a high enough temperature in the beginning. Either way, it turned out great and I'm hoping my daughter will love it too. I would add that whilst this dessert is simple to make, you can't walk away from it and leave it to cook. It requires frequent - at times constant - stirring. Also, be careful when combining the milk with the eggs, and be sure to go slow (as the recipe advises!) otherwise you'll end up with scrambled eggs and not the dessert you were hoping for.

Excellent rice pudding. This is the second time I am making. However you must cook for at least 30-40 minutes NOT 8 minutes and a little too sweet so I cut back a little on the sugar. Putting the seran wrap definitely made a difference! Thank you for a keeper recipe!!

I've tried several recipes for rice pudding & this one is the best I've found. Perfect consistency & flavor. I did add some cinnamon at the end, but thats a personal preference. I also cut the sugar to 1/4 cup as per some of the reviews. It was so good i made another batch!

This is my go-to recipe for rice pudding. Always yummy, and my family loves it! Simple and delicious.

I just made this 2 hours ago & I followed the directions exactly how they are on here... The rice pudding never thickened at all... I even followed some of the reviews & cooked it a extra ten minutes... It's all liquid the rice is still sitting at the bottom of the bowl... I was thinking maybe after I let it cool down like other puddings it would thickened... Picked this recipe since it had all good reviews... I was afraid a half cup of rice wouldn't be enough with 4 cups of milk... Sorry I can't give this more then two stars... I should only give it no or one star since all my money was just wasted on a horrible recipe that won't even thicken up like any rice pudding I've ever ate is thick... I thought maybe a little creamier the Kozy Shack which was fine with me... I like Kozy Shack I just don't like they don't make it with cinnamon without Raisins... I can't eat Raisins but love cinnamon in my Rice Pudding... The best Rice Pudding I still have ever ate is Royal Farms Rice Pudding... Just gets expensive since they're little one serving size & are $1.79 a piece... I usually have too buy all they have which is 10-12 at a time & they last me about 5 days... I'm really addicted too their rice Pudding so figured I would make my own too save money... Well not with this RECIPE I WON'T BE SAVING MONEY... Unless someone can tell me how too thicken this RICE PUDDING UP SO I DON'T HAVE TOO THROW THIS WHOLE BATCH AWAY NOW... If not I will tell everyone I know not too use any of these recipes since this is the 2nd Rice Pudding Recipe I have made in two weeks & didn't turn out... Thanks

There is another recipe on this site called "Best-Ever Rice Pudding." It is not! THIS one is. Creamy, subtle sweetness, easy, and relatively quick. I have made it twice, and will toss out most of the other rice pudding recipes I've accumulated. I did on the second go-round sub in some half-and-half for half of the milk, for some additional decadent richness. Delicious, but not necessary.

A wonderful version of an old fashioned favorite. I used Sushi rice, and refrained from adding cinnamon, and it was simply delicious! The ingredients & cooking process were spot on. We tried with some macerated strawberries in Balsamic vinegar over the top. I had the berries on hand. However my review is sans berries.

Made this for a large crowd and multiplied it several times. I got fav reviews from everyone. Did use a little less sugar. Excellent.

I've made rice pudding several times before, but this is my first time making this recipe. Let me say, YUM! I took a substitution from one of the "alternative" versions and used coconut milk (full fat) for some of the milk as I love the subtle flavor it gives in the background, used real vanilla bean (completely worth the hefty price tag in a dish like this), and added a bit more rice as I like my rice pudding more "meaty" and thick than most. That's just personal preference and no fault of the recipe at all. It is a bit sweet, but I grew up on kozy shack before I learned to make my own, so it didn't throw me off at all. If you like a less sweet pudding, use 1/4c sugar. Again, this is a personal preference. The method and ratios given by this recipe are spot on and delicious, and easily tweaked for those who like it a little more this or a little less that.

I doubled this recipe and simmered a bit longer than it called for and also added ground cinnamon for enhanced flavor and color. I Substituted 2% milk. It is absolutely delicious!

Good, solid, easy recipe but the 1/3 cup sugar was too sweet for such a small recipe. In the future, I would reduce the sugar a bit unless you like really sweet rice pudding.

Delicious and straight forward. I used 2% milk instead of whole milk and added a cinnamon stick to add a bit more spice to it.

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