How to Cook Everything: The Basics: Rice Pudding in the Oven

Sullivan_ricepudding2

By Alaina Sullivan

Patience is a virtue with oven-cooked rice pudding. It takes some time for the rice and milk to warm up to each other, but when they finally do, the wait is rewarded. The foundation of rice pudding is incredibly simple — rice, milk and sugar. From there, the possibilities are basically limitless. I tested three versions using three different grains and three different milks: 1) Brown basmati rice and almond milk, with lemon zest, honey and crushed almonds (I particularly like the brightness of the zest here); 2) Arborio rice and rice milk, with coconut flakes and vanilla (exotic, rich, and very sweet); 3) Brown jasmine and regular cow’s milk, with nutmeg, cinnamon, and pistachios (warmly spiced with a more subtle sweetness).

The arborio version achieved the creamiest consistency, while the brown rice delivered a coarser-textured pudding with a nuttier fragrance. Brown rice takes longer to cook than white, but if you want to speed up the process and make the pudding creamier, pulse the brown grains in a food processor a few times before cooking. Recipe from How to Cook Everything: The Basics.

Rice Pudding in the Oven

The term comfort food is overused. But not here: There is nothing more soothing.

Time: About 2 hours, mostly unattended

Makes: At least 4 servings

1/3 cup any white rice

1/2 cup sugar

Pinch salt

4 cups milk

1. Heat the oven to 300°F. Combine the rice, sugar, salt, and milk in a large gratin dish that holds at least 6 cups. Stir a couple of times and put it in the oven, uncovered. Bake for 30 minutes, then stir. Bake for 30 minutes longer, then stir again; at this point the rice might be swelling up and the milk should begin to develop a bubbly skin (if so, stir it back into the mixture).

2. Cook until the rice plumps and starts to become a more noticeable part of the mixture and the skin becomes more visible and darker, about 30 minutes more. Now the pudding is getting close to done, so check on it every 10 minutes, stirring each time (it should reach the right texture in 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the kind of rice you used).

3. The pudding will be done before you think it’s done. The rice should be really swollen and the milk thickened considerably but still pretty fluid (it will thicken more as it cools). Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Tips:

You’ve got to use white rice in this recipe, but you have some choices: Long-grain aromatic rice (like basmati or jasmine) will deliver the most delicate texture and fragrance. Short- or medium-grain white rice (like Arborio) will be more thick and chewy. Supermarket long-grain rices will be somewhere in between.

Variations:

5 Ways to Change the Flavor:

1. Substitute coconut, soy, rice, or nut milk for the milk.

2. Stir in a piece or two of whole spice (cinnamon sticks, cloves, or nutmeg) at the beginning of cooking.

3. Stir in a teaspoon of grated citrus zest at the beginning of cooking.

4. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract after cooking.

5. Add up to 1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts right before serving.

Posted in Baking, Recipes

11 Comments

  1. Jam Dugg said...

    Looks great, thanks for sharing!

  2. neudecker said...

    Are you sure about the ratio of 1/3 cup rice to 4 cups milk? Mine has been in the oven for 90 minutes now and seems rather like a soup than anything else.

  3. neudecker said...

    I take back my question. I took it out of the oven anyway, let it rest a bit – and it is delicious!

  4. Your mode of explaining the whole thing in this paragraph is truly fastidious, every one can
    simply be aware of it, Thanks a lot.

  5. Tara said...

    Where can I buy brown jasmine rice?

  6. Dani said...

    This is the best pudding recipe I’ve ever found, and I’ve tried many! Thank you very much!

    Through experimentation I’ve also found simple supermarket long grain rice is my favourite rather than the bags of pudding rice available, feels less gloopy and gelatinous with all the flavour and a much nicer consistency!

    Also adding the vanilla as suggested makes this dish heavenly!

  7. Jutta said...

    Too runny and WAAY too sweet, even for a sugar junkie like me!

    Shouldn’t it be 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup rice, instead of the other way around?

  8. kartik said...

    Delicious. Another variation is to use indian raw sugar instead of regular sugar. You can find it in indian grocery stores. It tastes different and really good. Use raisins/cashews for garnishing. Maybe add a few green cardamoms while cooking. Use evaporated milk or half and half if you want to cut down cooking time. Use carrots instead of rice for another variation. Add a little ghee after cooking if using carrots. I like all these variations.

  9. Pat said...

    I have just added ingredients to the slow cooker. It is too hot here today to start the oven !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>