Brown rice pudding is a go-to dessert in our household, and between the filling rice and all the protein in its eggs and milk, it can even be an economical stand-by dinner (shh). Instead of the standard cinnamon and nutmeg spicing, I sometimes spike this with saffron plus a pinch of turmeric or with cardamon and allspice. I also vary the dried fruits and nuts, using pistachios (with the saffron), chopped walnuts or almonds, dried cherries, raisins, or dates, or fresh chopped apples or pears. Fresh fruit is excellent but gives a looser pudding that won’t cohere like the one illustrated above. My latest variation involved blending the meat of a fresh young coconut with the eggs, milk, and maple syrup before adding it to the rice- yum!
Short-grain brown rice works very well here. Sweet rice, also called sticky or glutinous rice, is a nice variation. Sweet rice is in all kinds of Asian desserts like the rice balls that always tempt me at the Asian grocery. As you might guess, it’s sweeter than other kinds of rice, and it also has a substantial quality that gives desserts made with it the chewiness of a good brownie.
Many rice pudding recipes call for starting the pudding on the stovetop and finishing it in the oven. I use a rice cooker for the rice but cook the pudding completely in the oven. That’s simpler because there’s no stovetop stirring. I used to finish the pudding by mixing in sour cream or yogurt at the end. It’s good like that, but now I like it even better as a firm baked pudding. Left the way it comes out of the oven, it can be cut into squares.
Is it still a pudding if it’s firm enough to be cut into squares? I still think of it that way, but maybe it’s something new. Let me know how you like it and what variations you’ve made in the comments below, I love to hear from you!
- 1 cup sweet (sticky or glutinous) brown rice or short-grain brown rice
- 1 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- raisins, dates, or dried cherries (optional)
- chopped walnuts, almonds, or pistachios (optional)
- Cook rice in a rice cooker or on the stove (1 cup rice, 2 cups water, bring to boil, stir once, simmer for 50 minutes).
- In medium or large bowl, crack and beat two eggs.
- Add 1 cup soy or almond milk and whisk together.
- Heat honey in microwave until warm but not hot (20 seconds in our microwave). If you are using maple syrup you can skip this step.
- Combine sweetener with other wet ingredients and whisk together.
- Add cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Add rice to a square 8 X 8 pan.
- If you are using dried fruits or nuts, add them to the rice.
- Pour wet ingredients over rice and mix.
- Cook at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
- Cool for 10 minutes.
- Cut into squares and serve.