Q: What do you do with all the leftover white rice you get with your Chinese takeout?
A: Make rice pudding, duh!
I've loved rice pudding ever since I was a kid. My dad used to buy the Kozy Shack brand in the big container. Momma would divide it up into those little Tupperware cups with the plastic lids. Then, when it was time for dessert she'd take them out of the fridge, sprinkle them with cinnamon, and mmmmm it was so good! Until this day, I can't understand how some people don't like it! I guess it's a love it or hate it thing. Josh doesn't like it. He says it's a texture thing. I don't understand that either, but to each his own. That means more rice pudding for me, IF I can fight the spoon away from my dad! ;D
This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens: New Baking Book. I love this book, and I recommend it to any home baker. Along with lots of pictures and informative tid-bits, the book has a wide variety of recipes, including low-fat, foreign specialties, and my favorite, old-fashioned desserts, which is the chapter where the rice pudding recipe was hiding. The recipe would be perfect without any tweaking, but of course I can't always go by the recipe word-for-word. I added a little extra vanilla and just a pinch of lemon zest. I also plumped my raisins in dark rum for a minute or two. The end result is fabulous! My family prefers it cold, so after it cooled I divided it up into containers, just like mom used to. It's perfectly creamy with just the right amount of vanilla and cinnamon. And the lemon zest really brightens it up and keeps it from feeling so heavy without actually tasting lemony. This recipe is definitely going into my binder as a keeper!
Did I mention this only took minutes to make?! It's one of the easiest desserts I've made in a long time, AND I got to mark another thing off my Top 100 list!
Baked Rice Pudding (from Better Homes and Gardens: New Baking Book)
4 beaten eggs
2 cups milk, half-and-half, or light cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cooked rice, cooled (leftover rice works well)
1/2 to 3/4 cup raisins (I plumped my raisins by simmering them in 2 tablespoons of dark rum for 1 minute. Drain them and let them cool.)
Pinch of lemon zest (about half of a small lemon) (my own addition)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. In ungreased 2-quart casserole combine eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat until combined but not foamy. Stir in cooked rice and raisins (and lemon zest, if using). Place casserole in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish on an oven rack. Pour boiling water into baking dish around the casserole to a depth of 1 inch.
2. Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Stir well; sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon. Bake for 20-30 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm or cold. To serve cold, cover and chill pudding for up to 3 days.
Nutrition Facts per serving (8): 184 cal., 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 111 mg chol., 130 mg sodium, 31 g carbo., 0 g fiber, 6 g pro.