Sunday, 24 January 2010

rice pudding

a really bad bout of flu = being cooped up in my flat for a week
o will have you know that when i am stuck at home i am like a caged lion, restless and grumpy and desperate to find something to do. after two days of making soup and four days of eating it - [the first day i made pinch my salt's accidental soup with chickpeas, coriander and ginger and the addition of chicken - on day three i made a mixed lentils and barley soup], i was really craving something more comforting and soul food-ish. and that's when rice pudding came to my mind.

a slightly warm bowl of creamy milky rice pudding with the grains thickened and bursting is the ultimate comfort food. i found a very basic recipe and added a couple of things that i deem essential. cardamom pods crushed to reveal their tiny black seeds, a grating of nutmeg, a couple of drops of vanilla and a pinch of saffron. between o and i and i we polished the bowl clean an hour of so after it came out of the oven.

i love the slightly darkened thick skin that sets on top of the rice pudding as it bakes.
here is what you need to make rice pudding at home.

4 oz pudding rice| 2 oz caster sugar| 1 & 1/2 pints full fat milk| 1 & 1/2 oz unsalted butter
a greased baking dish large enough to hold all the ingredients
a few drops of vanilla & some grated nutmeg
optional: cardamom seeds, saffron

and here's how you make it!
preheat oven to 130 degrees celsius (150 degrees celsius for non-fan ovens)
place the rice and the sugar in the greased baking dish. heat the milk until it is scalding but not boiling and then pour over the rice and the sugar. add the vanilla and cardamom and saffron.
cut the butter into small chunks and sprinkle on top and finish with some grated nutmeg.
stick into the oven and bake for an hour and a half to two hours until the rice pudding is golden on top.

cool slightly before eating. i find that sometimes it helps to add a little milk incase the pudding becomes too thick.