I woke up this morning and had just one thought. Rice pudding.
I know some of you may say, ‘What on earth is she thinking, it’s summer’, and I partially agree with this thought. Rice pudding conjurs up warm cozy fires, hand knitted jumpers and dark evenings. The only thing I can think is that yesterday was cold, and today, although brighter and not full of that rain that is hardly rain at all but makes you very wet, I have had the thought, so now need to fulfil it.
I’m not too sure when my love of rice pudding started, but I have very fond memories of eating it with my Scottish grandparents, and then at home, when foods out of a tin were ‘the thing’, we would have Ambrosia Creamed Rice and prunes, which also emerged out of a tin.
However, as I ventured into adulthood, rice pudding slipped very low down the list of foods to eat or cook and has only really crawled back into the top one hundred in recent years. It may be something to do with having children.
So, this is how I make it. Grease a dish with butter and sprinkle on 120g of pudding rice. On top of that sprinkle 60g of sugar. Today I have used soft brown sugar as we still haven’t bought any castor sugar since last Sunday when we made the chocolate cake. Now I’m not making excuses, but I really do love the taste of soft brown sugar, which more than likely means someone, somewhere has, or will prove soon, that soft brown sugar is two steps away from the devil himself, and unless you want to dance the light fandango very soon you should ‘step away from the soft brown’ now. However, until that all comes to my attention I am going to remain blissfully ignorant.
Back to the rice pudding. On top of the sugar I drip approximately one teaspoon of vanilla extract, then add 1 litre of full fat milk before adding 90g of butter and sprinkling with nutmeg. It is then baked in a low oven, actually, the oven can be as low or as high as you like, what I mean is, it’s baked in an oven which is on a low heat, gas mark 2 for me, and left to do its thing for approximately 2.5 hours.
When you take it out of the oven, give it five minutes or so to get itself together, and serve.
We had it topped with strawberries as a nod to summer, which is delicious, but to be honest, nothing beats jam. However, our 4 year old had a very astute observation to make about the rice pudding and strawberry combo.
4yo: Mummy, guess what happens to my strawberries when they have rice pudding on them?
4yo: They make the strawberries go warm
I think I see signs of genius emerging.