If I had known how easy rice pudding was to make, I would've made it a long time ago. Years ago, my daughter was obsessed with rice pudding. She couldn't get enough, but individual rice pudding cups can get pricey. Also, I was worried about the preservatives that went into the pudding itself. One easy rice pudding recipe would have saved me lots of time and money. After all, I found out that the ingredients already had a permanent home in my kitchen. That means I could've been making my rice pudding the entire time.
Chances are the ingredients to make an easy rice pudding live in your home too. With only four ingredients at its core, rice pudding could be one of the simplest desserts you'll ever make. You can eat it in its basic form, or you can dress it up however you like. Since rice pudding isn't complicated, experimenting with the recipes, don't take up a whole lot of your time. Think of the delicious creations you can make and eat. The smell in your kitchen alone is worth the small bit of effort you'll extend.
What Is Easy Rice Pudding?
Rice pudding is just like it sounds. It's a pudding mixture with rice in it that people eat for dessert. The ingredients in rice pudding are simple. The easy part comes in the preparation.
Easy rice pudding uses common ingredients typically found in any kitchen. The dessert takes little time to prepare, primarily if you use cooked rice. The key to a delicious, easy rice pudding lies in its simplicity. The preparation creates a filling dessert with a unique flavor that is easy to tailor.
Ingredients Needed For Rice Pudding
Although there are different variations on rice pudding, the basic recipe has only a few ingredients. To make rice pudding, you need rice, milk, sugar, and vanilla. The best rice to use is medium grain. Long grain doesn't work well in the pudding, and there is rice perfect for the recipe called Arborio or pudding rice.
Before you scour the stores looking for pudding rice, note that any short or medium grain rice will do fine. The milk you choose will determine the quality and consistency of your rice pudding. Whole milk, cream, or condensed milk will result in thick, creamy and rich rice pudding. Using percentage milk won't give you the creaminess often associated with rice pudding. It will provide you with a thinner version that may not be as appealing.
Sugar hasn't always been in rice pudding, but since sugar became a staple in about every kitchen, the ingredient holds a place in the recipe. The vanilla is usually in extract form, although you can use the bean. Using a vanilla bean adds to the expense and creates extra steps in your prep. Keep in mind, the more complicated the ingredients and the more steps, the more complex the recipe. We're looking for easy rice pudding, after all, so using vanilla extract is your best bet.
Any other spice, like cinnamon or nutmeg, is optional and a matter of personal taste. Some people swear by adding raisins into their rice pudding and wouldn't eat it without them. The extras are up to you. Using an easy rice pudding recipe as a base, you can build on it and make the dessert your own.
Sometimes no matter what you do, a recipe won't cooperate. This fact holds for rice pudding as well. No matter how easy the rice pudding recipe is, sometimes your pudding doesn't turn out how you would expect. Usually, the issue is in the thickness of the dessert itself.
The thickness of your rice pudding is a matter of preference, but pudding isn't meant to be soupy. So, you've followed the recipe to the letter, but your pudding isn't as thick as you would like it to be. What do you do?
Fear not. The problem with your pudding might lie in the cooking time. Your recipe might call for you to cook your rice pudding ingredients for a specific period. Most of the recipes will add a caveat to that and say "until thickened." There's your key right there. Use the time as a guideline, but keep cooking your pudding on low heat until it's as thick as you prefer. Only then should you remove it from the heat.
If that doesn't work, maybe you've added a little too much milk. All you can do is adjust the ingredient ratios next time and try again. Since rice pudding is easy to make, trial and error is a breeze.
When Did We Start Adding Rice?
You can trace rice pudding origins back to the eleventh century. Rice was added to pudding because it was a cheap grain that filled family's tummies. From that time, the rice pudding recipe hasn't changed much. In the sixteen hundreds, rice pudding used to cook inside intestines and boiled, like sausage.
Sugar, while a staple these days, wasn't always so. When sugar and spices were a luxury for the rich, rice pudding was even easier to make. With the addition of almond milk to the cow's milk, rice pudding had some sweetness to it. The different kinds of milk combined with the inexpensive ingredients and the ability to satisfy hunger made it a typical dessert in many households.
The Taste Of Rice Pudding
The way rice pudding tastes is dependent on what ingredients you use. The taste and quality also depend on the quality of your ingredients, just like any other food recipe. At its most basic, easy rice pudding has a creamy vanilla full pudding flavor. The rice gives the pudding more texture than your standard rice-less pudding.
To get more flavor out of your rice pudding, cinnamon, cardamon, and nutmeg are nice additions. The Pioneer Woman likes to soak her raisins in bourbon and make a sticky bun caramel topping to drizzle over the top. This extra step adds a depth to the rice pudding. As you can see, you can change the primary vanilla creamy flavor any way you like.
The Benefits Of Rice In Your Pudding
At the very least, rice pudding adds calcium and protein from the milk and is full of carbohydrates from the rice. Also, rice contains protein, fat, folate, and iron. All of which are important components in your diet.
But, rice pudding is still a dessert. Since the best way to make your easy rice pudding is with whole milk, you also consume fat. Be conscious of serving sizes because you'll make your rice pudding at home and may not be thinking in portions, You want the benefits of the rice and milk, but you don't want to overdo it with the fat and the calories.
Making desserts at home is convenient and cost-effective, but doesn't come in conveniently sized portions. As long as you watch serving sizes, rice pudding can be an occasional good addition to your overall diet.
Recipes For Easy Rice Pudding
Rice pudding has been around for several hundred years, so the variety of recipes is wide. The core recipe remains consistent across all recipes including the rice, milk, and sugar. The recipe you choose from there is a matter of taste, and there are plenty from which to choose.
Here are some easy rice pudding recipes to try. Notice how with just a few additions, these recipes create a whole new pudding. Nothing is stopping you from doing the same. Start with these to see which ones satisfy your taste buds and adjust to personalize if you like.
Easy Rice Pudding
This easy rice pudding recipe from Genius Kitchen made four servings and received a 5 out of 5-star rating from visitors who tried their pudding. It looks easy to make with simple to find ingredients. Many of these, you probably already have.
Mix all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture often to make sure it doesn't burn. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve hot or cold and enjoy.
Rockin' Rice Pudding
Tyler Florence from the Food Network brings us Rockin' Rice Pudding which puts a small twist on traditional rice pudding. The recipe is still easy with easy to find ingredients. Tyler's pudding made four to six servings and received 5 out of 5 stars from people who've tried his dessert.
Add the cooked rice, milk, sugar, and butter to a medium saucepan. Add the raisins and vanilla. Cook for 25 minutes until only some of the liquid remains with the rice. Stir in lemon zest and 1/2 of the cinnamon. Place pudding servings into a dish and sprinkle the other half of cinnamon on top. You can serve this pudding chilled or at room temperature.
Classic Vanilla Rice Pudding
Nums the Word says they tried tons of recipes to find the perfect easy rice pudding recipe. It was a tough journey, but they are sure their Classic Vanilla Rice Pudding is the best. This recipe makes four servings.
Add whole milk to a saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring, so it doesn't curdle. Add rice and continue to stir. Cook covered for 40 minutes to one hour over medium heat. Leave the lid cracked to let out some steam and stir occasionally. Your pudding should be thick. Stir in the vanilla and sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes so the sugar has a chance to dissolve into the mix. Serve in individual dishes and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Eat Perfect Rice Pudding Every Time
The instructions to make these easy rice pudding recipes are so straightforward there's no reason not to try one (or all) of them. More than likely, you have the pieces to a delicious and creamy dessert right in your pantry and fridge. So, why wait?
If your family thinks cooking rice into vanilla pudding is weird, that's okay. They might change their minds once they smell and taste your creation. Better yet, make it a family event. The recipes are easy enough to involve your entire family, no matter their age. Get everyone in the kitchen.
You might find that making rice pudding for an after dinner treat or a mid-day snack to be a warm and cozy event. Homemade rice pudding could become a tradition that will start with your little piece of the world. And who knows, because of your family's efforts, your favorite recipe could carry on for your future generations.