My mom made desserts all the time when I was growing up. There were usually cookies in the house and, occasionally, a batch of homemade muffins or scones on the weekends. I remember one particular time when a friend came over after school and she had just made homemade chocolate ice cream for us to enjoy as an after school snack. Rice pudding was the one dessert that popped up on occasion and seemed to stem from the ongoing theme of “waste not, want not” that I was raised upon.
Since rice pudding is made from already cooked rice, my mom used to make this when we had a lot of leftover rice from Chinese takeout night or when her pot of chili ran out before all the rice she’d made to go with it had. It’s a fantastically easy way to turn leftover grains into a creamy, sweet dessert. We grew up on white rice, so that’s traditionally what my mom used. Brown rice makes a slightly chewier pudding, but it’s still darn tasty.
My mother’s one flaw was that she used to put raisins in her rice pudding. I hate raisins. Always have. Luckily, making this myself means no raisins, but you can add them if you happen to not be repulsed by them. I suspect some shaved coconut added before cooking might be pretty tasty, too. If you have any favorite add-ins, let us know. I’m always up for trying something new.
makes 6 servings
3 cups rice, cooked
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
optional add-in: 1/2 cup raisins
Add the rice, milk, sugar, salt, and butter to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 25-30 minutes. Add the vanilla and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Pour the pudding into a serving dish and place in the refrigerator until cool. Serve chilled.
note: 1 cup uncooked rice yields 3 cups cooked rice.