In case you missed the link on the right, allow me to share with you my love for Joy the Baker, a blogger I follow religiously. How can I resist those delectable photos and her cute write-ups about each recipe? Joy's recipes are the perfect balance between old-fashioned, classic recipes and more inventive ones. I feel like Today I decided that the fact that its cold and rainy outside was a special enough occasion to make her rice pudding.
This is the time to make several confessions to you, dear readers. Firstly, I take my rice pudding very seriously. When I'm talking rice pudding, I'm talking business. How can I justify this? It's the perfect melange of creaminess, softness (but with a bite!), velvety smoothness, and vanilla-i-ness (really stretching there, sorry...). It's the perfect dessert that has you scraping your spoon accross the bottom of the bowl everytime. My second confession might shock you: I hate raisins. Detest them. I am a friend of every other dried fruits (dried cranberries are a serious weakness), but raisins...blegh! So I was forced to make this recipe sans raisins. I'm happy to report it was wonderfully delicious and I didn't at all sense something was missing. Finally, I'll admit, I was skeptical about rice pudding being made with long-grain rice, because I've always made it with arborio rice, but I decided to trust Joy and go with the recipe. I ended up really enjoying the texture of the long-grain rice---what a success!
from Joy the Baker & the Gourmet Cookbook
2 cups water
1 cup long grain rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split open
1 cup golden raisins (omitted in my version)
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in lemon zest, salt and long grain rice and return to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer the rice, covered, until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Once rice is cooked, place it in a bowl and rise out pan. Add 4 cups of milk, sugar and vanilla bean to the pan. Bring to a low boil, stirring often so the milk doesn’t burn. Add the cooked rice and raisins to the hot milk. Stir often, until the milk cooks down and the rice is creamy, about 20 minutes. Place in a large bowl or serving dishes to cool. Serve cold or at room temperature.