Classic Stove-Top Rice Pudding– an old fashioned recipe for rice pudding made on the stove. Delicious and easy to make, this dish is great for all ages.
How to make classic stove-top rice pudding? What kind of rice do we need for this wonderful dish? How long we need to cook the rice? How much sugar we need to add to the recipe? How creamy rice pudding needs to be?
There are so many questions to ask, especially if you never made rice pudding before. Every part of the world has its own recipe for rice cooked in milk. Some countries make the rice pudding on top of the stove, while others bake it in the oven. Some add eggs, some do not.
Specific spices and flavors make the recipe traditional to that region or country. Some cultures eat rice pudding as a dessert, some others for breakfast, dinner or just a snack.
It does not really matter how you serve it or when. The important part is to make this classic simple recipe of rice pudding your own by adding the flavors you like, then enjoy it with your family.
Children love rice pudding. It is nutritious and delicious. It also becomes a great comfort food during the cold season when you need something to warm you inside.
Rice pudding made on the stove is one of the best childhood memories I have. My maternal grandmother used to make us rice pudding quite often and serve it with various toppings, like cinnamon, fruit preserves, dried fruits and walnuts or just syrup.
Even today, as an adult, I love rice pudding. I like it simple, slightly sweet, flavored with vanilla and lemon zest. I like the rice pudding warm, but I do not mind it cold either, right out of the fridge.
Here is another recipe of rice pudding made with apples and baked in the oven. This is a recipe that I was making very often when my daughter was a toddler. She loved the texture and how good it was. I still love it and make it once in a while.
Tips for a perfect rice pudding:
The recipe is quite simple if you take in consideration the following tips:
- The usual rice used in rice pudding recipes is a short grain rice, like Arborio rice used for risotto, but you can use any type of rice you have available. What you need to know is the exact ratio between the rice you will use and the liquid, so following the instructions on the rice package is important.
- You always have to boil the rice first in a little bit of water. The milk contains lactose which slows down the rice cooking process. For this recipe we will add the milk later, after the rice absorbs the amount of water we start with. This is something I learned many years ago from my old cooking books I grew up with.
- Don’t forget the salt. A pinch of salt in any dessert will balance the sweetness of the dish and enhance the taste.
- Do not boil the rice until the grain is split or mushy. You might notice that the rice pudding will be quite fluid while still hot, the rice is cooked but you end up with more liquid that you think you should have. Don’t be worried, when it cools down, the rice pudding will change consistency and get thicker.
- You can also use other types of liquid, like condensed milk, evaporated milk, coconut or almond milk, etc. The rice pudding can be served with cinnamon, cardamom or fruit preserves and jams (cherries, sour cherries, apricot or peaches are the best).
How to make this Classic Stove-Top Rice Pudding:
Start by placing the rice and water into a pot. Also, add the salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until the rice absorbs the water. Add the milk and the butter and from this point, stir the rice constantly to avoid scorching.
When the rice is almost cooked, add sugar, vanilla extract and optional, lemon zest. The sugar needs to boil together with the rest of the ingredients for about 3-4 minutes.
How long do you boil the rice?
Usually it takes about 15-20 minutes to cook a rice pudding. However, some types of rice might need more time and also more liquid. In case you notice the rice is not cooked but the liquid is gone, add more liquid to it.
The best way to know if the rice pudding is cooked is by tasting the grain. If the rice is cooked but still “al dente”, is perfect. Remove the pudding from the heat and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes.
The rice will absorb the rest of the liquid and become thicker and creamier. Make sure the pot is covered, otherwise, the rice pudding surface will dry out and create a crust. You want a smooth rice pudding.
Serve the rice pudding warm or cold, in bowls, and decorate with cinnamon, fruit compote, preserves, walnuts or dried fruit. You can also serve it simple. Enjoy!
- 1/2 cup/100g short grain rice
- 3/4 cups/200ml water
- 3 cups milk/750ml milk
- 1/4 cup/60g granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup/ 3 tablespoons/60g unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional: lemon zest
- Optional for decorating: cinnamon powder, fruit jam, fruit preserves, nuts, dried fruits, cardamom
Use a 1 quart pot with cover.
Place the rice and water into the pot, bring to a boil then simmer for few minutes, covered, until the rice absorbs the water.
Add milk, butter and salt and cook the rice on low heat, stirring constantly to avoid scorching.
When the rice is almost cooked(about 10-15 minutes), add sugar and simmer for another 3-4 minutes.
Add vanilla, lemon zest and stir to combine.
The best way to know if the rice pudding is cooked is by tasting the grain. You want the rice to be cooked but still "al dente".
Remove the pudding from the heat and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes. The rice will absorb the rest of the liquid and become thicker and creamier.
Serve the rice pudding in cups and decorate with cinnamon, pieces of fruit, your favorite jam, dried fruits etc.