June 18, 2007

Rescued Rice Pudding

I love rice pudding. A lot. So much so that last summer, I personally devoured a small Greek village's entire supply of rice pudding. Eating it is no problem. But when it comes to making rice pudding, I must be cursed. My first attempt, several years ago, ended in rice soup. The second time, I thought I'd try a baked pudding, and so I used a recipe for brown rice pudding from New Recipes from the Moosewood Restaurant. This resulted in weird, dry, eggy rice lumps. This time around, when a hankering for rice pudding struck, I felt more confident. I was wiser in the ways of cooking and baking, and was in possession of a seemingly simple, no-fail recipe from a trusted source, Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Alas, it was not to be. Rice soup again - the rice had failed to absorb "80 to 90 percent of the milk", as the recipe said it would, and despite over an hour of cooking, it never thickened, and I was left with a pot of warm milk with some rice floating around in it. I admit, the problem was probably on my end, although my only deviation from the recipe was to use sushi rice instead of arborio (but they're pretty similar, right?), and low-fat instead of whole milk. What went wrong?

Thankfully, I was able to salvage the pudding with the addition of an egg yolk and about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch. In the end, what I was left with was essentially vanilla pudding with rice- but hey, I'll take that. And yes, it tasted much better than it looks in the photograph- please excuse my lack of food photography skills (a temporary problem I hope!).

***9/21/07 Note: I think I may have solved the mystery- Apparently there was a misprint in the book, and cooking time should have been 50 minutes instead of 30. That could explain why the milk wasn't absorbed!


julie said...

Hi Maddy, it's my first visit on your blog, and I enjoy it:)

As much as I like D Greenspan, my attempt at the rice pud from Baking failed miserably too. I haven't told anyone until now! My guess is that pre-cooking the rice isn't a good idea!

Maddy said...

Thanks Julie! I like your blog too- I'm so impressed that you do it in both French and English!

And I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my failure!