Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ruthy's Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is famous.
Almost every culture has a form of sweet rice.
Sweet rice and custard????

Oh my stars, better yet!

I worked in a Greek Family restaurant for eleven years. They made Greek rice pudding...

It was good, but this way is better. I'm going to go out on a limb and say WAY BETTER.

But try it. Taste test. You be the judge.

Baked rice puddings can get dry. Pithy.


Greek rice puddings lack depth of flavor. They're tasty and sweet, but it's basically rice and milk and sugar, slow simmered.

Ummm.... Not so much.

But this????

Oh. This is GOOD STUFF!

This recipe is a mix of my old fashioned custard recipe from the Cream Corn Starch box, circa 1970-something. An older neighbor told me about it and I was always looking for great basic recipes. Why re-invent the wheel?
So this basic vanilla pudding rocks. It's done in about 10 minutes (including cooking time)
has no chemical or weird aftertaste and I use it as a filling for fancy cakes...

Boston Cream Pie


Cream puffs

And the base for rice pudding:

Here's the original recipe:

1/4 cup Butter (one-half stick)
1/2 cup Cream Corn Starch
1  1/2 Cups Sugar
4 Cups Milk
4 Egg Yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Melt butter in 3 quart saucepan. Remove from heat for a minute. Just long enough to add the sugar/corn starch mixture and not burn anything. Mix sugar and cornstarch in bowl. Add to butter.
Add in milk and egg yolks.
(the whites can be used for meringue kisses... or scrambled egg whites... or white cake...)

Whisk until combined.

Cook over medium to medium high heat (only if you STAND THERE AND STIR. Do not do what I do and think you can fold a load of laundry or check e-mails. Trust me. You cannot.)

If you mess up the above step and burn it, sigh...

I do that often. Then I realize I am not Super Mom or a Magic Fairy and pudding should be stirred.
So then I stand there and stir the next batch while reading a great ROMANCE NOVEL like this one:

See, then the time passes quickly. 
We Yanks are a strange breed. Yes. I know.

Okay, so stir until thick and mixture just comes to a boil.

Remove from heat, add vanilla.


So there you have it, the base, the bottom line, the delicious, creamy custardy goodness.


Add cooked rice.

I use Basmati rice because I love the texture, but you can use any normal rice. Typically rice can be cooked like this:

4 cups water (I do measure this)
1 tablespoon salt (No, I don't measure, I just dump)
2 cups rice (this I measure)
Splash of olive oil

Bring water to a boil. Add in salt, oil and rice. Bring back to a boil. Cover lightly, reduce heat to simmer for twenty minutes. Turn off heat.
Now this is how I make rice all the time. And it works great. The hint of salt in the rice is AWESOME in the pudding.
Mix rice with custard. Put in bowl. Sprinkle with nutmeg.



  1. I'm very picky when it comes to rice pudding, the only one I've ever found that liked was from an Amish cookbook. My SIL had made it. I got the recipe, but yours is way easier, Ruthy. Will have to vine it a whirl. Of course, my boys probably won't eat it. Which means I will--all of it!

  2. I'm the only one at my house who would eat rice pudding too, but I love it! I'm going to have to try this recipe.

    I also love tapioca pudding - I bet you could adapt this same recipe.

    And is reading while cooking a Yankee thing? I do it all the time, but then, I'm a northerner - same latitude, different longitude.

    BTW, Ruthy, that book you're reading is on my list, too! I heard the author is pretty darn talented :)

  3. Jan, I LOVE tapioca pudding too. Again, I'm the only one who eats it, but that just means more for me :-)

  4. Oh, this sounds sooo yummy!! I love rice pudding. The kids love tapioca (you know, the buy in little cups with the store-bought pudding?), so I bet they'd love this. Will definitely give it a try! Although, I'm inundated with cupcakes right now thanks to the Ruthy chocolate icing recipe.

    BTW, I'm so glad I can entertain you while you stir! ;)

  5. Reading this recipe brings back so many memories of our breakfasts at West Ridge! Ruth, this is the BEST rice pudding EVER, and I am excited, but very nervous to make it...your rice pudding shoes are hard to fill!!!

  6. Now see, this is so much faster than Mom used to make. I swear she'd stand at the stove wearing her apron - no reading, just one hand stirring and the other on her hip - and stand - and stand. Wait - I'll go get her recipe...

    Mom's rice pudding took hours. Instead, I usually enjoy a bowl of it and the tapioca pudding - sometimes mixed together if I don't want to go back for seconds - at the local buffet.

    Got it...okay, so she only stood at the stove for 15 mins. Heh. It seemed longer.

    But after she mixed it all together, she put it in a geased baking dish with cinnamon sprinkled on the top, and placed that in a pan of warm water. She baked that at 325 for 1 hr 10 mins or until the custard is set. It's delicious, but takes soooooo loooooooong. And the topping makes a mess in the pan, greased or not.

    So now, 2 questions arise:

    - what's with the custard 'setting'? It doesn't seem to have time to set with your recipe. ???
    - what is "Cream Corn Starch"? Our corn starch comes in a box and we use it to make cream bases, thicken soups, etc. Is 'Cream' the brand name? And if you can buy 'cream corn starch', what other corn starch can you buy?

    Thanks for the recipe. :)

    1. How did I miss these nice comments??? Anita, WAY LATE.... The custard thickens on the stove, then sets in the fridge. It's more pudding-like and less like baked custard, but custard just refers to the eggs/milk ratio.

      Or some such nonsense! And yes, my cast aluminum pans (you can get them cheap at garage sales because people have no clue how awesome they are!) are my candy-makers, too. And what I use for making custard.

      Actually for a lot of things since I poisoned my nice Revere Ware Stainless Steel soup pot years ago.


  7. Oh, one more thing:

    Reading while cooking is much easier to do if you have thick pots.

    The thinner the bottom, the lighter they are, the easier the contents burn.

    We have a cast aluminum sauce pan we call the 'candy pot'. It's heavy, black bottomed outside, pitted inside, and the handle is off-kilter. But I wouldn't trade it for anything less than another of it's kind. The candy pot allows me to read and stir occasionally. I can even move around the kitchen prepping the next stage or recipe. Of course, once it starts a rolling boil, reading is out. But until then, yay!

    1. And yes, "Cream" was the name... that's where the original recipe came from. The "Cream" Corn Starch box.

  8. thanks ruthie rice pudding turned out yummie 2 big bowls later my papilion dog thought it was yummie also.been sick lost 4lbs w/ your help(lol) gained it back plus some im sure.also enjoy your novels

    1. SHEILA!!!! Love it! And I'm so glad you tried it and the dog and you are on the mend!

      Of course we'll have to put the dog on a diet now, but so sorry to hear you were sick. Stay healthy and I'm just over the moon delighted that you're enjoying the books!

      Thank you THIS MUCH!