Rice pudding is one of my favorite quick late-night desserts (as you can see by the yellowish lighting in all the pictures!). It’s sweet, but not too much, and the milk provides the heavier, comfort-food happiness I’m usually looking for at those times when I should be sleeping and not eating. Everyone has their vices, right? And this is the perfect late night snack, because it can be eaten cold for breakfast the next morning.
I usually make more of a kheer, with Indian spices, basmati rice, almond slivers, and a light handful of golden raisins; when I saw Joy’s version with risotto and vanilla, I was intrigued. The risotto doesn’t make that much of a difference to be, so you could substitute another rice if you don’t have any on hand, but I have to say, I’m loving the addition of vanilla. It’s a pity rice pudding uses so much milk…I should have quadrupled the recipe so we could eat it all week!
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 4 cups whole milk (plus 1-3 cups more, optional; see recipe)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, over low heat, scald 4 cups of milk. Bring the milk to just under boiling, turn off the flame and let it rest.
In a large saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter. Add the rice grains and stir to coat. Ladle in just enough hot milk to cover the rice. Stir over the low flame; the rice will begin to absorb the milk. When milk is almost fully absorbed, ladle in more of the hot milk. Stir until absorbed. Continue this process, standing over the stove, stirring the rice. As you add the last bit of milk, also incorporate the sugar, spices, and vanilla. Stir well to combine.
Stir over low heat until the pudding is at a desired consistency. If eating immediately, top with berries (or nothing!) and enjoy.
Note: Rice pudding keeps in the refrigerator for a few days and is great cold, but thinks as it cools. If planning to eat later, stop cooking while pudding is still slightly runny. If you prefer a looser pudding, you may need to stir in a considerable amount of milk into the cooled pudding. When we ate this the next morning, I added about three more cups of milk to get the consistency I like.