Joy of Cooking contains a basic rice pudding recipe that I have “Mexicanized” in an effort to recreate puddings I’ve had south of the border. High-quality vanilla will add to the authenticity—see details in the ingredient list.
- 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- One cinnamon stick
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar (I prefer unbleached organic sugar)
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon extracto natural de vainilla or other high-quality vanilla extract (extracto natural de vainilla can be purchased in some Mexican markets on both sides of the border, but I’ve never seen it in a regular grocery store)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- Bring rice, water, salt, and cinnamon stick to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the milk and sugar and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 30–40 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until rice and milk form a thick porridge. (Pudding will thicken slightly more when removed from heat.)
- Remove pudding from the heat, stir in the vanilla and raisins, and remove the cinnamon stick (or any pieces of the stick, if it has fallen apart).
- Place pudding into a large bowl or cups for serving.
- If not serving immediately, cover with plastic wrap (Joy of Cooking recommends gently pressing the plastic wrap to the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming) and refrigerate.
- Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.
Yield: 6 servings
Photo courtesy of Ingrid Hoffmann