My maternal grandmother, whom everyone called Kayo, was not keen on baking but there were two desserts you could almost always find in her fridge: bread pudding and rice pudding. I was a pretty picky eater as a child and the thought of cold rice in a sugary sweet, creamy pudding was beyond gross to me. Despite that, I loved the flavor of it so I would occasionally force myself to take a spoonful or two from the dish.
Just as my paternal grandmother taught me to make her flan, before I moved away from Florida, Kayo taught me to make rice pudding. I can see her standing in the kitchen, wearing her handmade house frock, listening to the news of the day on the Spanish radio station and cursing Castro’s name under her breath. To her, this was a perfect dessert because it was light and full of flavor – despite the milk..and the sugar….
This recipe is pretty straightforward and foolproof; it would be really hard to mess it up. It can also be made with evaporated milk diluted with 2 1/4c water OR condensed milk diluted with 3 c of water, but not all three. The milks CAN be combined as long as they are properly diluted and do not exceed 4 cups TOTAL. You can even dress it up a bit by adding a snack-sized box of raisins to the pudding 30 minutes into its cook time.
Do you have a variation of rice pudding you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!
- 1/2 c long grain rice
- 1 1/2 c water
- a sliver or two of lemon rind
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 1 c sugar
- 4 c milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- In a 4qt pot, wash/rinse the rice and cook with the water, lemon rind and cinnamon stick until the rice is done; approximately 20 minutes.
- When the rice is done, add milk, salt and sugar.
- Cook over med-low heat until it thickens, about an hour. Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Place the pudding in deep dish and sprinkle cinnamon over the top.