It’s Friday! and That Means Rice Pudding

It’s Friday! Whohoo! It used to be that Friday meant scrambling around like a crazy person trying to finish up our school and chores for the week before Daddy had to come home for the weekend. Now, since we’ve kinda gotta things in hand a bit more, Friday is the day to relax, do some cleaning, catch up on laundry, explore the woods, play some video games,  finish up the week’s schoolwork (you didn’t think the kids were going to get out of that one, did you?!) and chow down on some yummy food since Mommy has more time free to cook!

Oh yeah, and it means I’m making rice pudding!

Since I almost never post recipes, I was hesitant to post this one here. But, I have discovered it’s almost impossible to find a rice pudding recipe for more than 4 people and not all recipes double nicely, I figured that meant there was a crying need for one to suit a larger family.  (There is a crying need for rice pudding recipes, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought!)

This is one I’ve tweaked out from a half-dozen I’ve read throughout the years, online and in old recipe books, and tweaking it here at home based on my kids’ ever-evolving tastes and their ever-growing stomachs while adjusting for numbers of servings and serving size. I don’t remember ever having rice pudding as a child, but my husband remembers it as one of his favorite desserts (like a dish like this should be confined to dessert!) so he has taught the kids to love it as well. This recipe wins with the whole family every single time I cook it.

It’s not that sugary (and the sugar can be substituted for agave nectar or stevia), it’s really filling, and it’s an easy way to work some dried fruits into breakfast without too much fuss or mess. It’s super cheap to make, which matters ‘like a lot’. (It averages out to about $0.60 per serving, and that cost is mainly in the milk because it’s almost $6 a gallon for whole, hormone-free milk around here.) Plus, is a whole lot quicker to make than traditional rice pudding: I start it about 6:20 in the morning when the hubs is heading out the door and it’s ready, setting time and all, by 7:00 when the kids are allowed into the kitchen to bug me about being hungry.

Quick & Yummy Rice Pudding in Only 5 Steps

(Serves 6-8 Amply)

Rice Pudding by rdpeyton, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  rdpeyton*

 

6 Cups of Milk  (I’ve used whole milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and reconstituted milk and it works fine with all of those so this is entirely personal preference.)

1/2 Cup of Sugar (I usually buy Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar {not an affiliate link} but you can use the equivalent amount of your choice of sweetener)

1/2 Cup Raisins (We also have used dried cranberries, apples, pears, and berries.)

2 Cups Minute Rice (One of my requirements since I want it to be nice and quick to make!)

2 Eggs

Splash of Vanilla Extract

Splash of Almond Extract

 (I think I should add that I always use real (as opposed to artificial), organic extracts. We can taste the difference, and I see a difference in how much I have to use in order to get recipes tasting properly. They are marginally more expensive, but not much. I honestly spend less on extracts now that I’ve started buying the better quality because I don’t have to use nearly as much to get a better flavor. These are what I usually buy.) {not an affiliate link}

Step 1- Pour your milk, sugar, raisins, and rice into a pot over medium-high heat. On my glass-top, this equals about 7 or 8 on the dial, but yours may be different. Also, I use a 3 quart saucepan to make my rice and oatmeal in. Mine has a slightly thicker bottom so the grains don’t stick the minute they’re left unattended. This recipe isn’t going to swell a great deal, however, so you can use anything you can fit all that milk into.  Bring to a boil while stir almost continually. It takes about 2-3 minutes to reach boiling on my stove; your time here will vary, of course. It’s okay to go pour a glass of orange juice or start the coffee maker, but don’t leave the kitchen and make sure to give it a stir every time you walk past the stove. Milk + sugar frothing over on your stove is NOT a mess you want to have to clean up first thing in the morning! (Don’t ask me how I know!)

Step 2- Once your mixture is boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Medium-low is between 3 and 4 on my stove. I usually use this step to get my eggs ready for step 3.

Step 3- Lightly beat 2 eggs in a bowl. Add your splashes of vanilla and almond extract. I say splashes because I haven’t actually measured this out in years. Call it a splash or a glug, either way works. I think originally it was to equal 2 teaspoons, if you must have a measure, but it is really more about taste preference than exact science. Once your eggs have been beaten, take a 1/2 cup of your rice mixture and beat into your eggs. Again, doesn’t have to be perfect, you just want your eggs heated up and thinned out.

Step 4-  Slowly pour your egg mixture into your pot, stirring continuously for about a minute. Since I despise stirring continuously and look for any and all opportunities to not stir something continuously, take my word for this: stir this continuously while you’re pouring the eggs in. If you don’t, in addition to your pudding not thickening properly,  you will have chunks of egg floating through your pudding and your kids who think eggs are “the most disgusting, nasty, gross things in the world” will refuse to eat your awesome rice pudding even though there is no way possible to taste the eggs in amongst all that yumminess and therefore, you will have wasted your morning cooking pudding no one will eat because you despise stirring continuously for one lousy minute. (Again, don’t ask me how I know.) This is your thickening step. You’re going to stir until the consistency changes from runny with a bunch of rice chunks to thick(er) and pudding-y, but not more than that minute or minute and thirty seconds. Again, stir continuously. Don’t let your mixture boil during this step. If it starts to boil, you’re not stirring continuously enough. Stir more and faster. Don’t overcook your pudding here, just until it starts to thicken up and smooth out. (Did I mention you should stir this minute continuously? Just wanted to make sure! It’s important, ya know.)

Step 5- Put your pudding into serving bowls and let cool 10-15 minutes. It’s going to thicken even more and actually set during this time. Top with cinnamon and/or fresh fruit, if desired. Serve nice and warm. We don’t always top it with anything and the kids devour it just the same.

See what I mean? SO SIMPLE! And it’s really, really filling. This recipe can feasibly have up to 10 servings made of it, but I put a lot in the bowls because I want it to last my six children a couple of hours before settling into their hollow legs. If you try it out, tell me how you like it!

As an added note, I’ve had discussions with friends about whether this is rice porridge or rice pudding, because apparently people traditionally add a baking step to traditional rice pudding. (And yes, I’ve actually had this argument.) My arguments are simple: I’m not making traditional rice pudding. The original recipes I used in my quest for acceptable rice pudding called this rice pudding, so I’ve named mine rice pudding. So, in  my house, this is what passes for rice pudding (quite well, I might add), but if you bake your rice pudding, feel free to call this rice porridge if it makes you happy to do so. If you’re wanting traditional rice pudding, I highly recommend this recipe: How to Cook Everything: The Basics: Rice Pudding in the Oven or this one: Rice Pudding Supreme, both of which I’ve cooked and enjoyed in the afternoon when I have leisure time to wait around for traditional rice pudding. But if you don’t have 2 hours to prep, cook, and set your pudding, my friend, I’ve got you covered!

*Forgive the stock photo! I didn’t have time to take a picture of mine before it was consumed by the ravenous pack of wild animals that are my kids this morning. So, if I remember, next time I make this, I’ll snap a few photos in my kitchen and replace this lovely stock photo.