As a kid, I thought rice pudding was one of those things only “old” people ate. Like mincemeat pie. (What is that stuff anyway???)
But secretly, I always loved rice pudding. Oh, the creaminess. The slightly sweet but not-too-sweetness. The hint of vanilla. The flavor conjures up visions of childhood, when mealtime seemed special and always included dessert.
Rice pudding just happens to be one of the easiest desserts in the world to make, because—here’s my little secret…
You don’t even have to cook the rice.
Whaat??? Here I am, saving you time in the kitchen.
The best time in the world to make rice pudding is the day after you have Chinese takeout. I don’t know about you guys, but we always have one of those takeout containers full of leftover white rice.
Here’s what happens at my house. I put the leftover rice in the fridge, telling myself I will use it another day. But then, ultimately, I toss it in the trash. I hate throwing food away.
Here’s a better idea. The next day, just take that baby out of the fridge, throw it in a saucepan with a few other ingredients, and whip up a batch of yumminess. Goodness gracious. It tastes so good!
The leftover rice may seem really dry, but it doesn’t matter. Order is restored to the rice pudding universe once that rice is soaking in a steamy bath of milk and sugar. Add a little butter and you’ve got some super special richness going on.
Now I realize there are some in the rice pudding-loving population who will scream at the thought of what I’m about to tell you. Brace yourself—it will rock your world.
I absolutely love Craisins in my rice pudding.
I hope we won’t part company over this.
Some people put raisins in their rice pudding, but I’ll admit right here and now that I have raisin issues. Unless they’re in a soft, chewy oatmeal raisin cookie, raisins are simply not gonna happen.
Craisins add such a delightful tartness that compliments the sweet creaminess of rice pudding. And the texture is so much better than the squishiness (is that a word?!!) of cooked raisins.
Guys, you just gotta try this rice pudding. First, take a night off from cooking and order Chinese takeout for dinner. Then tomorrow, use that leftover rice to whip up this absolutely delish rice pudding.
Print the recipe and post it on your fridge so you don’t forget.
Creamy Rice Pudding
4 to 6 servings
3 cups white rice, cooked
3 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup Craisins (be bold… use more!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon, grated or ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Combine cooked rice, milk, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan. Add Craisins and vanilla.
Cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Mix in lemon zest and cinnamon. Spoon pudding into serving dishes. Serve chilled (if you can wait that long) or at room temperature.