12 October 2014

Easy peasy rice pudding

Well hello one and all!  I'm sorry for abandoning you all for so long - I have no excuse, other than sometimes the demands of finding time for blogging in amongst everything else are just too much.  So, we'll skip lightly over that and be happy that here I am again!

Now then.  What has brought me back to you all?  Well, something unusual for me - a dessert.  I wasn't anticipating blogging it, so didn't take many pictures.  D'oh!  I will admit that I'm not a great one for cooking desserts.  They are largely really bad for you calorie-wise and often require cooking at the same time as the main course is being cooked.  Well once upon a time I could multi-task, but it would seem not so much these days.  ~shrug~  Can't be helped - it's just one of those things that are sent to try us.

However!  This dessert - the humble rice pudding - is one of those lovely things that costs very little, takes the work of minutes to prepare, then can be left to chuckle along in a low oven for hours until done.  Perfect.

Another reason for liking this rice pudding recipe is that if you follow the straight, as published, recipe you wind up with a delicious, creamy, comfort food dessert.  However, it shows all sorts of promise for being dolled up in all kinds of directions, if you want to.  For instance, you could simply add a little cinnamon and some sultanas for a bit of a different slant, or serve with some baked apple, or melt chocolate into it, or take it down a Chai route with the appropriate spices.  Maybe even swap out the cow's milk for coconut milk.  I do love an adaptable recipe.

Looking good at half-time!
I had been wanting to make a rice pudding for the longest time, but it wasn't the right time of year (best made in Autumn/ Winter) and I hadn't found a recipe that I was entirely happy with.  Some recipes have the most ridiculous amount of steps in them for what seemed to me to be the easiest of things.  Then I tripped over a "cook with the kids" feature in my local Asda's magazine, which included a recipe for rice pudding.  (See here : http://recipes.asda.com/Recipes/classic-rice-pudding).  It involved rice, milk, evaporated milk and sugar.  Well that sounded a whole lot more like it!

Having decided to make it, I then had an internal argument over whether to use cow's milk or goat milk.  The cow's milk won on this occasion, as I felt it was better to go with the recipe 100% as it was something new to me.  Save the tinkering about with it until I'd cooked it once!  I was just crossing my fingers that the sudden intake of cow's milk wouldn't affect my tummy adversely (which, it would appear, it didn't - thank goodness).

If you, like me, have memories of your Mum making rice pudding and the kitchen filling with the most lovely smell of baking milky nutmeg - then you just have to make this.  It took me straight back to being a young teenager again.  Yes, it is a wee bit heavy in calories at 272 (reference : Calorie Counter) for a serving (a quarter of the pudding) - but it could be a whole lot worse!

CLASSIC RICE PUDDING (care of Asda's Recipes)  Serves 4

Ingredients :

15g unsalted butter 
75g pudding rice 
50g granulated sugar 
170g can Carnation Evaporated Milk 
530ml whole milk
Pinch (or more, to taste) ground nutmeg.

Method :

1.  Using a little of the butter, grease the inside of the baking dish.

2.  Mix together the rice, sugar, evaporated milk, milk and a dash of the nutmeg in the dish.

3.  Place into a pre-heated oven at 150degC/300degF/Gas 2 for 30 minutes.

4.  Remove, stir the contents gently and dot the remainder of the butter over the surface.  Grate on the remainder of the nutmeg.

5.  Replace into the oven to bake for another 2 hours.  You may need to turn the heat up for the last 30 minutes if you prefer your rice pudding top to have a darker hue.  I turned mine up to 180degC/350degF/Gas 4 and the top was perfect.

The pudding can wait in the oven (make sure to turn it off!) whilst the family eat their first course.  It is also fabulous cold, the following day.

Calories per serving : 272

Printable recipe

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