Dessert Comfort

A simple dessert made well is sometimes overlooked when considering dessert options. This is a good recipe to have in your dessert repertoire as it's a crowd favorite.

Tips: Knowing your grains is important, as each type of rice will provide different results. Here are your options; long or short grain white rice, brown, basmati, or jasmine. Cooking times and consistencies will vary wildly, ok maybe widely. Long grain rice makes a pudding that is slightly drier and chewier than one made with short grain rice. While brown rice will be nuttier. Arborio rice is starchier and therefore can set up without addition of eggs. Cooking times will also depend on the type of rice, along with the amount of milk used. 

Other important tips: Do not combine any sugar to rice until the rice kernels are completely tender or the starch will begin to set and harden and will not become additionally tender. Do not use converted rice as it contains pre-gelatinized starch, which will not thicken rice properly. To keep a skin from forming over rice pudding, sprinkle a small amount of granulated sugar over the top as soon as you pour the pudding out of the pot.

Good Rice Pudding 
Recipe by George Hirsch
Makes 2 cups, about 4-6 servings

3/4 cup uncooked short grain rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar, or if using Turbino slightly less
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup raisins, plumped with dark rum or water 
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, add rice and water bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. 

In a separate bowl mix 1 1/2 cup milk, salt, sugar and salt. Add to cooked rice and return to heat and gently simmer and stir for 15 minutes.

In separate bowl mix remaining 1/2 cup milk to beaten egg, plumped raisins, butter, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Stir egg mixture into milk and rice and simmer 2 additional minutes, stirring constantly. Serve warm or chill in small cups. Sprinkle small amount of granulated sugar on top to keep skin from forming.

Serve with fresh chopped fruit, toasted chopped nuts, whip cream or meringue.