Arborio rice creates an extremely creamy pudding due to its high starch content, and it is worth seeking out. This is our basic rice pudding recipe – to streamline it further, you can even leave the raisins out. A pristine rice pudding with just a hint of cinnamon is great comfort food. And, as you can see below, you can vary the presentation factor simply by choosing different dishes. The ones in front are what my Nana always used, so they have a high nostalgia value, but the tall ones in back will look great on the dinner table.
Image: Dédé Wilson
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups whole milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup raisins (dark, golden or a combination)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Have ready 6, ¾- to 1-cup ramekins or goblets.
- Combine water, rice and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, covered, over medium heat. Turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
- Stir in milk, sugar, raisins and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often. The pudding should be the texture of a thick soup, as seen in our top image.
- Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to release heat. Scoop into serving dishes and serve warm or refrigerate overnight, covering tops with plastic wrap. Pudding may be served warmed, room temperature or cold.
- When cooking the pudding after adding the milk, make sure not dry it out too much. It will firm up a lot upon cooling. If there is one mistake you can make in this recipe, it is cooking the pudding too much at this point. You will lose its inherent creamy quality.