Rice pudding is a family favorite in our home all year round. I serve it hot on cold winter or rainy days and cold in the summer. It’s real comfort food that is so satisfying with its’ smooth creamy texture.
It’s a tradition in our family to serve rice pudding on Easter Sunday. In our home we celebrate Easter twice, once according to the Roman Calendar, and the other, Greek Orthodox Easter. Every few years, “Western” (Catholic and Protestant) Easter and Greek Orthodox Easter coincide. That makes things a lot easier for me since our family is so large now that all I have to do is cook for a large gathering once. But I have to say now that we have so many great cooks in our family, we all gather in the kitchen to prep the meal at least two days before and have a blast. I love being in the kitchen and cooking with my daughters, nieces, and an occasional man. (they never stay long)
My husband Tony is Greek Orthodox so we celebrate Easter both Sundays. Needless to say when Italian and Greek families get together there is food for days.
Easter would not be the same if I didn’t include everyone’s favorite traditional dessert, rice pudding. This recipe has been in my husbands’ family for over 4 generations. His father served this in his Greek diner in the Bronx and people used to come from miles around and wait in line to order it.
This is so easy to prepare. I promise you will be happy with the results.
7 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1-1/3 cups long grain rice
¾ cups raisins
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon for garnish
In a heavy 4-quart pot, combine the milk and heavy cream. Bring the mixture just to a boil over medium-high heat (small bubbles will appear around the edge of the pan), stirring frequently.
Stir in the rice, sugar, raisins, and butter. Bring the mixture to a boil again; then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender, about 1 hour.
Beat the eggs in a bowl until light. Temper the eggs by combining ¼ cup of the cooked rice mixture with the eggs, stirring quickly.
Add the egg-rice mixture back into the pot and incorporate with the rest of the rice. Stir constantly over low heat until the pudding thickens, about 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat. If you wish at this point you can serve it immediately. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top.
If you don’t serve it right away, pour into a serving bowl and immediately cover with plastic wrap to keep it from forming a skin.
You can serve this pudding at room temperature or cold right from the fridge! Spoon the pudding into dessert dishes and sprinkle with cinnamon.
The pudding will keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. (I love it cold right out of the fridge.)
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