arborio rice pudding

Sunday, November 21, 2010

After sleeping a glorious eleven hours last night, I woke up this morning with a purpose.  Make rice pudding. The husband and I love rice pudding. It's creamy, vanilla studded goodness is the epitome of the perfect Sunday dessert.  And just like most things, homemade rice pudding cannot be beat.

So after breakfast and several cups of coffee,  I put my slippers on and set to work on making the rice pudding. You'd better believe I still had my pj's on, it's Sunday I got nowhere to be. While I was measuring out my ingredients I noticed that there really isn't much rice in rice pudding, mostly milk. Truthfully, rice pudding isn't about the rice, the rice is more a wing man to the milk. The milk in the pudding, which is this case is whole milk and cream, is the true key to rice pudding. Rice pudding connoisseurs know that the creamy texture of the slow cooked milk is the true key to a great pudding.

After I was finished cooking the pudding of course it has to be cooled before diving into it with spoon in hand, so the husband and I went for a walk. Lets not forget it snowed on Friday night, woke up to a lovely dusting on Saturday morning, but thankfully no snow since. But it was cold. Bone chilling cold. I had 2 sweaters and mittens (red Olympic mittens!) on and I still froze. By the end of the walk my nose, ears and toes were frozen. Lets just say, I won't be going for a walk anytime soon unless a. I wear more layers b. it warms up.  Seeing as its the end of November and winter hasn't even begun yet, I better start layering up.

Arborio rice pudding

[ from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey ]

1/2 cup arborio rice
8 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
freshly grated nutmeg

Combine rice, milk, sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon and salt in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Mixture should be thickening but still soupy and should be tender but not mushy. Note : the book said to cook for another 15 minutes after the 30 minute simmer, but my rice seemed very tender and the mixture just the right amount of thick. If yours isn't, try cooking for another 15 minutes until the desired consistency is reached. Please keep in mind that the mixture will thicken up quite a bit when cool, so don't worry if the mixture is soupy, that's what you want.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the heavy cream and stir into the rice pudding. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes until the eggs are cooked and the mixture looks thick and glossy. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and nutmeg. Pour pudding in a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap so the pudding doesn't form a skin. No one likes pudding skin, no one.

Refrigerate until cold, about 2 - 3 hours. Serve cold.