Rice has got to be one of my favorite foods. Fried rice. Buttered rice. Jambalaya. Rice crackers and krispies. You name it, I most likely have a closely-guarded stash of it in my cupboards.
I especially love rice pudding. I can eat bowls of it at a time, which is why I don’t make it that often. But when I do feel like a treat, I don’t mess around.
This rice pudding pulls out all the stops. (I’ll say it again: I don’t eat like this every day.)
Made with whipping cream instead of milk, this rice pudding is ultra rich. It gets a double dose of sweetness from white sugar and a touch of honey. It’s velvety and soft, with great texture from the pearly grains of rice.
This recipe is a snap to throw together, then it slow cooks on the stove for 2 hours. It’s a great thing to make for a dinner party dessert. I put it together before I start making the meal, then let it do its thing as I cook. It just needs to be stirred occasionally.
Decadent Sweet Cream Rice Pudding: Serving and reheating
Because it’s so thick, I recommend making this the day that you want to serve it.
When you refrigerate it, it gets positively solid. To loosen it up, leave it on the counter to bring it up to room temperature. Thin it out with a little cream if need be.
Whatever you do, don’t microwave it, as it will separate into an oily mess. If you want to reheat it, do it in a double boiler.
Decadent Sweet Cream Rice Pudding: A note on ingredients
I make this recipe with sushi rice, which is medium-grained milled rice.
My favorite brand is Kokuho Rose.
Depending on what you have on hand, you could also substitute short-grained Arborio rice.
If you can’t find whipping cream (30%-36% fat), you can try using heavy cream (36%+ fat) instead. If you do this, increase the cream by maybe a half a cup, then keep a good eye on it as it cooks. If it gets too thick before the rice is cooked, thin it out with a little more cream or some whole milk.
Decadent Sweet Cream Rice Pudding: A note on cooking equipment
If you have a large double boiler, use that. If you don’t, here’s how to improvise one.
My old double boiler isn’t big enough to handle this recipe, so I make my own by filling a pot a third full with water, bringing it up to a simmer, then setting a heat-proof bowl on top with my ingredients.
You’ll want a bowl that fits well in the pan without touching the bottom. Mine looks like this:
Pot with simmering water (bottom), bowl with rice pudding mixture (middle), lid large enough to cover the bowl (top)
(If you haven’t used a double boiler before, the idea here is that the pudding slow cooks, heated by the steam from the boiling water. This way, the pudding never comes in contact with direct heat, so it won’t scorch or stick.)
Decadent Sweet Cream Rice Pudding
1 cup sushi rice
6 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbls. honey
1 Tbls. vanilla extract
cinnamon or nutmeg
Fill a pan a third full with water. Set it on the stove over high heat to bring it up to a simmer. In the meantime, whip together your rice pudding.
Add the rice to a large, heatproof mixing bowl.
Pour in the cream.
Add the sugar.
Drizzle in the vanilla and the honey.
Whisk the ingredients together really well. Be sure to break up any clumps of rice.
By now, your water should be simmering.
Turn the heat down to low. Place your bowl on top of the pot.
Cap it off with a lid that fits the bowl well. If you don’t have a lid that fits your bowl, you can totally use aluminum foil instead. The idea is to keep the pudding moist and prevent it from forming a skin as it cooks.
Simmer covered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
When you take the lid off to stir it, the condensation that’s formed on the underside of the lid will drip into the pudding. That’s just fine. Stir it right back in.
After about an hour, you’ll notice that the rice is starting to expand and thicken the pudding. There should still be a fair amount of liquid, like this:
After about 2 hours, your pudding should be nice and thick. The rice should be completely cooked, and the cream should have thickened to a custard-y texture. It should look about like this:
When it’s done, turn the heat off and leave it on the stove, covered until it’s dessert time.
When you’re ready to serve it, spoon the pudding out into dishes or thicker martini or wine glasses for a fancier presentation. Garnish with a little cinnamon or nutmeg (or a drizzle of honey, my personal favorite).
Serve and enjoy!