This recipe for rice pudding is very special to me, as you can see that by the way I cherish (yes, cherish) the three copies of the recipe that I have in my possession. One is in my mom’s handwriting and is very worn and stained from fifty years of use. One is in Ann’s very distinctive handwriting, and one recipe is from my dear friend, Anne’s daughter, who sent it to me via email. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ve met Ann in several recipes already. She and my mom went to a novena to St. Jude twice a week for many years, and they shared recipes as well as prayers. I can’t think of a better way to bond in friendship.
For many years, when someone was sick in our house, Ann would bring over her famous rice pudding. We all loved it so much that eventually my mom decided we needn’t be sick to enjoy this creamy treat. She asked Anne for the recipe. I still remember the bowls that my mom and Ann used when making this pudding. That’s just how much of a favorite this recipe is of mine.
If you’re expecting this rice pudding to be the typical “diner-type” pudding, you’re in for a nice surprise. This is more like a custard or a flan (we didn’t even know what a flan was in 1960). The nutmeg topping is very aromatic and adds a lovely crunch topping. There are multiple textures to this pudding to delight your palette……crunch, soft custard, the chewiness of the rice. It’s so complex, yet so simple to make. The only difficult part is gauging the cooking time, as it is extremely dependent on your oven. The recipe says one hour, but I have sometimes needed to bake it quite a bit longer. You’ll know it’s done when the nutmeg crust that forms on top is firm to the touch, and the custard is well set when the bowl is slightly shaken (it shouldn’t jiggle). I also like to leave it in the oven for 15 to 30 minutes once the oven is shut off to make certain it is set nicely.
It’s wonderful served at room temperature or chilled. Heck, It’s even wonderful warm. I fully admit to digging in with my spoon while waiting for it to cool. With each spoonful, I’m brought back to life in the early 1960s. “Cook, Bake, Pray.” These two gals knew how to do it right!
5 TBSP of uncooked rice
3/4 cups of sugar
1 can of evaporated milk (placed in a quart bottle and add water to make quart)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
1. Boil rice until tender.
2. Beat eggs, and add sugar. Stir well. Add milk, vanilla and salt.
3. Drain rice and add to mixture. Stir.
4. Pour in Pyrex bowl. Sprinkle the top with lots of nutmeg (coat the entire top well).
5. Place bowl in pan with water and bake in preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 1 hour.