My Mother's Rice Pudding

When I see my brother Jeff eating gummy deli rice pudding from a plastic container I wonder whether he grew up in the same house I did.

My mother made the best rice pudding there ever was and for him to stoop so low astounds me. I mean, if you aren’t going to cook her recipe or make some other homemade one, at least have the decency to buy an acceptable one at some restaurant or food shop.

And the worst part is that he enjoys it so much he hums after each spoonful. Honestly, the stuff he gets is as viscous as cement and with practically no rice in it. He sprinkles it with enough cinnamon to coat the top completely. Hey, why not just eat cinnamon if you like it so much? Have a cappuccino with cinnamon. Or make cinnamon toast.

My mother’s rice pudding wasn’t the thick and creamy kind. It’s more of a custard. She baked it so it had a crispy top. A bit different than most, but oh so delish! In honor of National Rice Pudding Day, here’s her recipe.

My Mother’s Rice Pudding

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup white rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • cinnamon to taste

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges and the liquid is hot. Stir in the rice and salt, turn the heat to lowest and let cook for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract with a whisk or hand beater until well blended and thickened. Gradually pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk-rice mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Return this mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour into a bowl and let cool to room temperature (or chill). Beat the egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks. Fold into the thickened milk mixture. Fold in the raisins and cinnamon. Pour into a 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Place this dish into a larger container filled with one-inch of water. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy on top. Makes 6-8 servings

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