Rice pudding has always been something I don't understand. Who exactly was the first person to look at short grain rice and think "hmm..I should turn this into a pudding type dish that diners and housewives can make easily and affordibly"? I'm sure it actually originates in Italy or some more glamourous place than here, but regardless it is something my husband really enjoys.
Growing up there was an amazing restaurant that we would frequent. It had amazing Greek food and every day fare, but if you ordered the daily special, you know you were getting rice pudding as dessert. I never took them up on that offer because it seemed like a horrible combination of food ingredients and I was picky. When my husband first came with me to the restaurant on a trip home, he was delighted to enjoy both rice puddings! So I silently vowed that someday (this was over 7 years ago) I would make it for him.
Well Sunday was that day. I found a simple recipe and decided to follow it. I'm glad to say it actually turned out!! Someday I hope to bake it in this lovely 8x8 pyrex dish if I'm so lucky to find it locally ...but for now I'll admire it at this etsy store.
Prep time 5min Total 1 hour 20 min
1/2 vanilla bean, or 2tsp vanilla
1 cup uncooked short-grain rice (arborio)
3 cups homogonized milk
1 cup 35% cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup golden raisens (optional)
zest of 1 lemon
PREHEAT oven to 325F. Split vanilla bean in half and scrape out seeds. Stir rice with milk, cream, vanilla seeds or vanilla, sugar and raisins in an 8x8"baking or casserole dish.
BAKE in centre of oven, stirring halfway through, until rice is tender, about 65 min. Remove pudding to a rack and stir in lemon zest. Let stand for 10 min. Mixture will look runny, but it will thicken as it stands.
I only had homogonized milk so I didn't add the cream, used reg vanilla, and was out of lemons so I just used lemon juice. Still turned out great!
See...I'm slowly domesticating myself...