As a child, I was never enamoured with rice pudding. In our house, it was something that my mom made rarely and when she did, she made it for my dad. It seemed like a big production to my young eyes. It was boiled in a large pot, whisked often and then baked in a hot oven. Too much work for something that I didn’t think should have even been a dessert in the first place. Much later, as an adult, I made rice pudding a few times to excellent results, and always choosing recipes that didn’t call for baking the pudding in the oven. Baking pudding in an oven? Why bother!
Even though, I don’t hold fond childhood memories of eating rice pudding, it still somehow reminds me of home. It must be a comfort thing. No cares, no worries. Just pudding.
This is an easy pudding to make. Really. It doesn’t take much whisking or watching over. It’s also pretty low in sugar (though it does taste quite sweet) and fat. Like I said, no cares, no worries. Just pudding!
rice pudding with dried cranberries
1 c water
1/4 t salt
1/2 c arborio rice
3 c skim milk
1/3 c sugar
1 large stick of canela (Mexican cinnamon stick), broken in half (or into 3 pieces)
4 cardamon pods
1 t vanilla
2 handfuls of dried cranberries
1. In a medium-large saucepot, bring water and salt to a boil. Add rice and turn down heat to low. Cover and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
2. Stir in milk and sugar and add in the canela and the cardamon pods. Cook over low heat, covered, and mixing occasionally, until mixture thickens, about 1 hour.
3. Whisk together eggs and vanilla. Whisk about 1 cup hot rice mixture into the egg and then stir into remaining rice. Cook over low heat for a minute or so, until the mixture is nice and thick. Remove from heat and stir in dried cranberries.
4. Transfer into a serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap touching the top of the pudding. This helps to prevent a skin forming. Cool slightly and eat warm or cold.