Here’s a modern take on a very traditional dessert.
I’m sure we can all remember rice pudding – with varying degrees of fondness depending on whether what turned up on our plate was flavoursome and creamy or tasteless and stodgy.
This version is microwaved so it is much quicker than baking rice pudding in the oven.
¼ cup short grain rice or Arborio rice
1½ cups milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Put the rice, sugar, essence and 1 cup of the milk into a large plastic or glass bowl
- Microwave for 10 minutes, stopping to stir every 3 minutes. Check that the milk doesn’t boil over during this cooking time
- After 10 minutes add another ¼ cup milk and continue to microwave for 5-7 minutes, stirring again during this time.
- Taste the rice to see if it is cooked. It should feel soft and a few grains disintegrate when you rub them along the top of your mouth with your tongue.
- If it needs more cooking and most of the milk is already absorbed by the rice, then add the final ¼ cup milk and cook for another 5 minutes or until the mixture is creamy and the rice is soft
- Serve hot with fresh or stewed fruit and – if you like it – a dollop of whipped cream or creamy natural yoghurt.
- If you want to make this microwaved rice pudding for 4 people it’s best to make it in two lots as there is less chance of the milk boiling over in the microwave oven. When the second lot is cooked you can mix both lots together or simply reheat the first lot for about a minute before serving.
- To add flavour and texture, add ½ cup sultanas or mixed dried fruit.
- Another flavour option is to spice it up with nutmeg or cinnamon (or both).
- If you want to make rice pudding in the traditional way in the oven, put all the ingredients into an ovenware dish and cook at 160°C for 2 hours. This long slow cooking gives you a creamy flavoursome rice pudding.
- Another modern alternative cooking option is a slow cooker. I haven’t tried this but Alison Holst suggests cooking rice pudding in a slow cooker for 4 hours on LOW.