April 15, 2012
Mom used to make this rice pudding for us when we were kids, and I would love to eat it warm for breakfast. She had a special pink pyrex casserole she used to bake this in, and one year at a family gathering it was smashed to pieces…I mourned over it. These objects take on a life of their own especially after a loved one’s death. They seem irreplacable, but the healing is in the making. So her recipe lives on through me and hopefully my daughter will someday make this same pudding and feel as gushy as I do about my “vintage” pyrex. These past few months have been difficult for me, my brother has been horribly ill and is thankfully on his way back up. He lost his swallow relflex and has been in a skilled nursing home working hard with a speech therapist to regain his ability to swallow and have his stomach tube removed. I visited him this week, and he had been taken to the hospital to have the “official” swallow test done and he passed! For now it is on to soft foods for him and he does not have to be tethered to a bottle of chocolate protein…and I am hopeful that he will continue to get stronger. I asked him if he would like to have a bit of “mom’s” rice pudding, can you guess what he said?
Custard Rice Pudding
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 1 1/2 or 2 Quart Casserole Dish
1/2 cup Short Grain Rice (if possible) (My Mom used River Brand, now I believe long gone)
4 cups Milk, separated into 2 cups each
1 Tbsp Water
1/4 cup Butter (one half of a standard stick)
2 cups Milk
3/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
Cinnamon for Sprinkling, Fresh scraped Nutmeg
1. Cook 1/2 cup short grain rice in a heavy-bottomed pot with 2 cups of milk and one tablespoon of water. Set this on the lowest heat/flame possible. If you have a diffuser, this is the perfect time to use it. Cook for 20 minutes and add 1/4 cup butter, continue to cook until the rice is tender. My Mom used a double boiler for this, this makes it less labor intensive as you have to keep stirring this on the stovetop to avoid sticking. Your choice.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add 2 cups of milk, 3 eggs and 3/4 cup of sugar. Beat well and then add 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp pure almond flavoring.
3. SLOWLY add hot cooked rice mixture to the mixture of cold ingredients, whisking with each addtion so that the mixture does not begin to cook (this is called tempering).
4. Pour mixture into your prepared 1 1/2 or 2 quart baking casserole. Sprinkle with Cinnamon and Freshly scraped Nutmeg.
5. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.
This cooks up with a layer of custard over the top, the rice sinks to the bottom of the casserole. It is really a special dessert and a very special memory for me each time I prepare and make this for my family.
Recipe from www.sunchowdersemporia.com