As a teenager I made a pretty fine rice pudding (if I may say so myself). Every now and then the cry would come from the kitchen ‘Nicola, we have too much milk, could you make a rice pudding?’.
A child of the 80s, I learnt to make rice pudding in the microwave. Pros: it’s quicker than baking it in the oven. Cons: you have to watch it closely as it often heats too quickly and overflows. Microwaved spilt milk? Yeuch!
These days we buy milk as we need it, rather than having a regular delivery from the milkman and rice pudding hardly ever features at no 41. So when Dom’s Random Recipe Challenge threw up Nigella’s Risotto Rice Pudding I was quietly pleased. It also seemed very timely for the colder autumn evenings that have been reminding us winter is on the way.
Nigella says she was inspired to make this rice pudding because there are times when you need real rice pudding but it takes a good three hours to make one. She notes that it takes about ten minutes longer than a savoury risotto as the rice should be softer and recommends tasting after about twenty minutes, although it might take up to thirty five.
A stove top rice pudding sounds good, doesn’t it? Warning: it took me just over an hour; an hour of constant stirring. I was reminded of the microwave days! To be fair, the vanilla extract gave the pudding a lovely colour, and the arborio rice an al dente texture (maybe it could have been softer, but really, an hour??!).
Sorry Nigella, but I don’t think I’ll be making this again. My stove top rice pudding will remain Green & Black’s white chocolate and cardamom (its the one in front in the picture above). It doesn’t look as good, but the flavour is exquisite and it only takes about twenty minutes.
This month Dom paired up last month’s random recipe challengers to randomly allocate recipes to each other. I was paired with the lovely Michelle from Food, Football & A Baby. Head over to her blog to see what she cooked on page 23 of cookbook number 16. (and while you’re there, check out her chunky vegetable chilli with dark chocolate, it’s immense!)
- 700ml full fat milk
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2-3 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 60g arborio rice
- 2-3 tbsp double cream
- Heat the milk gently in a pan. When it has almost come to the boil add the vanilla extract and take it off the heat.
- Melt the butter and one tablespoon of sugar in your usual risotto pan; when it's melted add the rice and stir to coat.
- Start slowly adding the warm milk, a spoonful at a time, letting the rice absorb most of the milk before adding the next spoonful. Honestly, this will take ages.
- When the rice has finally absorbed enough milk and its soft and creamy, take it off the heat and as much of the cream and remaining sugar as you like.