As I get older I'm always startled to discover that my taste in desserts has changed so much from that of my childhood. Now I'm particularly fond of lemon, caramel and vanilla desserts. But when I was a kid, there was only three types of desserts I was interested in: chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream and chocolate chip cookies.
In fact, rice pudding seemed incredibly repulsive to me, mostly because I associated it with tapioca pudding and it had raisins in it (I hated raisins).
But for some reason, my mom was cooking up a batch of it a few years ago, and when I reluctantly gave it a try, I was surprised by how yummy it was.
Rice pudding, when prepared correctly, is creamy without being gummy, subtly flavoured with vanilla and cinnamon, with just a few raisins studded throughout. To achieve this I prefer Basmati rice and stop cooking the mixture while it's still a bit creamy so that it has some room to thicken up without being a pile of glue.
If you haven't been a fan of rice pudding before, don't totally write it off. While chocolate is fabulous, there is room for some vanilla now and again!
(Note: this recipe makes 2 large portions, but is easily doubled)
2 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup white rice (I prefer Basmati)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
1. Combine milk, rice and salt in a saucepan, and bring to a boil on high heat.
2. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom.
3. Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and raisins and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. The pudding is ready when the rice is tender, the pudding has thickened, but is still somewhat creamy. Remove from heat and allow to cool before refrigerating.