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Eggnog Rice Pudding


To me, rice pudding should always be served warm. I think the creamy texture is best showcased when this pudding is warm, and I think the pudding becomes a little too sweet when chilled. I am also horribly impatient, and can never wait for my pudding to chill before enjoying it. Something about that vanilla/ cinnamon/nutmeg aroma is quite intoxicating.

If you prefer rice pudding cold, perhaps experiment with 1/3 cup sugar rather than the half cup listed here. Since the pudding will further solidify when chilled, you also may wish to stir in a little half and half or whole milk to your pudding to loosen it up.

This is only one version of rice pudding that I enjoy; I have made it with jasmine rice, plain white rice, leftover cooked rice, added in raisins, cranberries, various other dried fruits, substituted coconut milk for the whole milk, etc. I particularly like using arborio rice; the texture of the finished product is lovely- intact grains of rice rather than mush, and the arborio rice gives off starch the thicken the pudding. The egg is not necessary thicken this, but I love the richness and flavor it provides, rather like eggnog rice pudding. The rum reinforces that flavor experience. I had to serve mine up in punch glass to finish the effect. Bottoms up!


Ingredients
1 cup arborio rice
2 cups water
2  1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 egg
1 tablespoon dark spiced rum

Method:

In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, water, milk, butter and salt. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring almost continuously. Add water as needed if the rice seems to dry out to fast- at this stage, you still want it fairly loose. Take the pot off the heat.


Beat together egg, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, cream and vanilla bean paste. Ladle some of the hot rice mixture into your egg mixture to temper it. Pour in this tempered mixture to the rice mixture while whisking. Return the pot to low heat and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes stirring, until the rice pudding has thickened. Still in the rum and cook one minute more. Serve right away ( I think rice pudding is best warm) or refrigerate for 4 hours or until chilled. If you are chilling it, press plastic wrap right on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. 


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