Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Mary Catherine Muir
8 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur) or 1/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat sour cream
Ground cinnamon (optional)
How to Make It
Combine first 3 ingredients in a heavy Dutch oven; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat (about 15 minutes). Stir in rice and salt; reduce heat to medium, and cook 45 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir occasionally, about every 5 to 10 minutes initially, and then as pudding begins to thicken, watch and stir every few minutes to prevent sticking. Do not boil. Place egg in a bowl; gradually add 1 cup hot rice mixture to egg, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return egg mixture to pan; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add raisins, amaretto, vanilla, and sour cream; stir well. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
If you want a more traditional rice pudding, omit the amaretto and almond extract, and increase the vanilla extract to 1 tablespoon. Also you'll need an extra 1/4 cup of water.
I've been making this recipe for more than 10 years. I've tried others, just out of curiousity - but always wish I'd just gone ahead and made "my" recipe. It is rich, creamy, smooth - none of those rice "pebbles" that happen in fast-cooked puddings. Yes, the stirring time is long, but you're making slow-cooked homeyness, here, people! Enjoy slowing down for a bit, swirling your wooden spoon through the steaming milk, taking a few deep breaths of the sweet scent. As another reviewer mentioned, you can modify this in a million different ways to truly make it yours.
I found this a bit time consuming to make due to all the stirring (not a big deal but my usual recipe you put everything in a dish and bake it). I halved the recipe and only used about 1/4 cup sugar. I did add sour cream and didn't add the amaretto and liked the taste. It was very creamy and tasty.
I love this recipe - today I halved it and it still worked great (used the whole egg). It's a great basic because you can fiddle with it quite effectively. I've left out the sour cream with no ill effects, changed the amaretto to rum - no problem, added a cinnamon stick - yum, changed the fruit to dried cranberries or cherries - delish, and today I didn't have any 2% milk, so I used mostly skim with a splash of whole and it's just as delicious as always.
Sour cream seemed like an odd ingredient in rice pudding, but I followed the recipe exactly for the first round. I found this to be too sweet; I would cut back on the sugar. And I still think the sour cream addition is odd. This recipe could be better, and lighter. I will try it again with alterations.
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