On National Raisin Day I can’t think of anything better than Rice Pudding, complete with raisins, and my Mom, who made rice pudding more times than I can count, because she knew how much we all loved it. She had several recipes. Baked and boiled, creamy and custardy, simple and elaborate. This is one of the best.
People have asked me about using skim or low fat milk for this recipe, and about not adding cream. Well, of course you can, but honestly, if you are going to the bother of making rice pudding you should also know it’s not supposed to be a low fat, low calorie item. This pudding is richer, more lavish — and tastes better — when you use whole milk and cream. What you do in your kitchen is up to you, of course. But if it were me (and it has been many times), and I didn’t want all that fat or calories, I would either skip this dish or eat less of it but have it the right way.
I’m just sayin’.
Creamy Rice Pudding with Raisins
4 cups whole milk (can use 2%)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup long grain rice (not instant or parboiled)
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup cream (can be heavy, whipping, light or half and half)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (not imitation)
Combine the milk, salt and rice in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the raisins and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until the rice is tender. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cream. While the rice is cooking, combine the eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat on medium speed (use a hand mixer) for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture is thick and pale. Pour in the remaining 3/4 cup cream and stir to blend the ingredients. Gradually add some (up to one cup) of the hot rice mixture to the egg mixture (this helps prevent the eggs from curdling), stir and spoon the egg mixture into the saucepan. Stir to blend ingredients and cook over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly. Let cool and stir in the vanilla extract. Serve warm or chilled. Makes 8 servings