Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yum Yum Rice Pudding!

Sorry for the late posting on this one, but the day got away from me yesterday and I didn't get my post up. We did, however, have a wonderful dish of rice pudding for dessert last night courtesy of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer. This cookbook is one of my "antique" collection and was published in 1943. It is the seventh edition of the cookbook and one of my favorites. Here is a link the current version of the book (which may or may not have this recipe in it!) on

This recipe is from page 518 in this edition of the cookbook and is simply titled Rice Pudding. At the end of the recipe is an alternate version which uses peaches or pears and since I happened to have thawed some of the Fredericksburg peaches that we put up last summer, I decided to follow those directions and add the peaches at the end. Here is the original recipe.

The Recipe

Rice Pudding
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
Scald milk with rice. Beat egg yolks with sugar. Add hot mixture slowly. Cook in double boiler until thick and fold in egg whites, beaten stiff. Flavor with 1/2 tsp vanilla or grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon. Or reserve egg whites, beat with 2 tbsp powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp lemon extract or vanilla and spread over pudding in baking dish: bake in moderate oven (350F) . Serves 4 to 6.

Pear or Peach
Condé . Omit egg whites. Mound on serving dish. Cook canned peach or pear halves in their own syrup (sweetened to taste) until soft and arrange around rice. Sprinkle with finely chopped ginger. Serve hot.

My results:

I decided right away to double the recipe as I had 2 cups of leftover rice to use and as I mentioned also decided to follow the directions for the Peach Condé, so I decided to use a total of three eggs, separated since I was unsure whether to use 1 or 2 as called for. Here are the assembled ingredients, minus the peaches and ginger which I didn't decide to add until after taking the photo!

Mike separated the eggs and mixed them with the sugar for me (thanks honey!) while I scalded the milk and rice. For anyone who's never scalded milk before, the best description I can give you is that scalding is complete just before the milk comes to a boil. It becomes bubbly and a little thicker around the edges of the pan. When scalding milk be sure to stir frequently so it doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan!

One thing I noticed quickly is that the recipe does not specify when/where to add the salt in the process. I decided to add it to the sugar and yolks before adding the hot liquid, but you may decide to add it to the milk while it heats. Either way, make sure to add it at some point as the salt enhances the sweet flavors of the pudding and shouldn't be omitted.

After scalding, you'll want to add the hot mixture SLOWLY to the beaten yolks and sugar. It helps to have an assistant for this and I was blessed to have my best sous chef on hand, my husband Mike :) He slowly poured the hot milk mixture into the pan while I whisked the yolk/sugar/salt mixture. This keeps the yolks from scrambling (who wants scrambled egg in their pudding!) and allows the sugar to melt throughly.

Next I set the metal bowl on top of a simmer pan of water to act as a double boiler and began slowly stirring the mixture until it thickened. This is purely a judgment call, but I stopped cooking the pudding after about 20 minutes when it seemed to be pretty thick. It was still a little soupy while hot but after cooling thickened just right. This is the point at which I added the vanilla. You'll notice in the photo of my ingredients that my vanilla looks a lot like a vodka bottle...and you'd be right! I make my own vanilla using vodka and vanilla beans. This is the best vanilla and quite a bit cheaper than the extract you can buy in the grocery. Here is the photo of the finished pudding before serving:

You'll notice the peaches that I just reheated briefly in the microwave. The recipe doesn't specify, but I chose to use candied ginger instead of fresh for the topping. This was a great addition! Here is the bowl that was all ready to be eaten:

This was a very very good pudding! Hubby liked the pudding with and without the peaches, with and without the ginger and my daughter loved the pudding as I was sure she would. I refrigerated the leftovers and it set up very well when chilled and was just like I expect a good cold rice pudding to be. I'm sure this would also be great with some grated nutmeg on top, a spoonful of nice preserves, other fruit, etc. It is a great basic rice pudding and one I hope you'll try. Enjoy and be sure to check back later this evening when I'll post today's recipe for a nice tea sandwich filling!

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