By Chef Diane
In my family we have a rice generation and potato generation. My grandparents always ate potatoes, so when my parents married, they had rice all the time. I grew very tired of rice, and so I cook potatoes all the time. I never even cooked rice until a year ago. My husband wasn't that crazy about rice, so I was fortunate. He did love stir fried rice, and when we ordered Chinese, we would get the stir fried rice, and they would also include a container of plain rice. Not being one to waste food, I decided I would make some rice pudding with this extra rice. I found the following recipe, made the pudding and it was a smash hit!
Today is National Rice Pudding Day. This holiday has been celebrated for several years, and each country has their own special pudding recipe. Some are sweet and others are savory. In the United States, several popular rice pudding recipes are sweetened and often include cinnamon and dried fruit. If you find yourself with some leftover cooked rice, or if you want to cook some rice, here is a great recipe to try, however, it makes a large amount, serves 15 - 20 people, so you might want to half it.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
- 3/4 cup white rice
- 5 cups whole milk
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 to 34 cup raisins, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan with butter.
Using a double boiler over medium heat, cook the rice in the milk uncovered for 25 minutes, and then covered for another 25 minutes, until the rice is thoroughly cooked. If the rice is still a little too firm, let sit on the burner over low heat for another 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
While the rice is cooking, make your egg mixture by combining the egg yolks, vanilla and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add the egg yolk mixture, dry ingredient mixture, 3 tablespoons butter and the heavy cream to the cooled rice, mixing between each addition.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Add the raisins, if using. Set the entire pan in a water bath and bake for 1 hour. If you use raisins, halfway through the baking you have to stir the bottom by sliding a knife along the sides (this is so the raisins will not gather at the bottom) without disturbing the custard. Bake until the rice pudding is no longer liquid. It will have solidified and a slight caramel colored crust will have formed on top. Cool and refrigerate until serving.