Monday, February 13, 2012

Rice Pudding

I LOVE rice pudding, as a child my neighborhood was a very open place, where everyone knew everyone.  In one of my Grandpa's apartments lived this old woman who made the best rice pudding ever, but only spoke about 5 words in English that I clearly remember.  "You, come, sit, eat" and "now" are the only words that I ever remember her saying to me.  But believe me I always listened, she made some of the best Hispanic foods that I have ever had.  So some days when I'm longing for a connection to my past I cook up some rice pudding.
My husband, is always excited whenever I make Hispanic foods that remind him of his childhood, coming from a mixed family he grew up with a grandmother who still makes a lot of her foods from scratch, rice pudding being one of them.  Since I'm still waiting on the mail to come in with her recipe for rice pudding I make this one, but this one is quite good in its own right.  Because it uses leftover rice, I make double rice the night before I plan on making it.

Rice Pudding

Ingredients
1 C cooked rice
2 C milk
1/4 t salt
1 or 2 eggs, separated
1/2 C sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
Raisins (optional)

Directions:
  1. Scald the milk with rice. Beat egg yolks with the salt and sugar in the top of a double boiler.
  2. Temper the egg yolk mixture with a little bit of the milk mixture, then slowly add the remaining milk mixture to the yolk mixture while stirring. 
  3. Cook in top part of double boiler over simmering water until thick. While your mixture is simmering beat your egg whites until stiff.
    After the milk mixture has thickened, remove from heat and flavor with 1/2 t vanilla. 
  4. Take 1/4 of your egg whites and incorporate them into the milk/rice mixture.  Doing this adds lightens the mixture so that the remaining egg whites can be incorporated without losing the meringue like texture of the beaten egg whites.
  5. Once you have incorporated the first section of egg whites slowly and gently fold in the remaining egg whites in three batches.  The remaining heat of the pudding should cook the egg whites through without worry of salmonella, but if you prefer them well cooked you can place the whole batch into a 350*f oven for 10-20 min. 
    Pudding will continue to set as you bake, and then cool the pudding.  If you don't cool the pudding the pudding will be at final consistency after the addition of the egg whites.
  6. Gently mix in raisins if desired.  I prefer mine without.

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