Rice pudding is one of my favorite comfort foods, and the winter months are all about comfort food, right? This rice pudding recipe is very satisfying and delicious, yet it's "lighter" because it uses skim milk instead of whole milk and cream. And it features one of my favorite spices: cardamom! The recipe calls for long-grain white rice, but I used basmati because I didn't have long-grain white rice on hand (we prefer basmati, jasmine and brown rices). I think rice pudding made with brown rice would be delicious, and with its higher fiber and mineral content, brown rice would be a healthier choice. Cooking times will vary according to which type of rice you use.
Lighter Rice Pudding with Cardamom
1 cup basmati or long-grain white rice
6 cups skim milk
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup golden raisins
Note: If you don't like raisins, you can substitute pistachios or almonds. If you don't care for cardamom, try cinnamon.
1) In a large saucepan, combine rice and 5 cups of the skim milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, 15 to 17 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla, cardamom and remaining cup of milk. Slowly pour egg mixture into rice mixture and cook over medium-low, stirring constantly, until pudding coats the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. Note: this step took me a lot longer, closer to 14 minutes, before the mixture was thickened.
3) Remove from heat and stir in raisins. Pour pudding into a casserole dish or large bowl. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days. Serve garnished with more raisins and a sprinkling of cardamom.
Recipe adapted from Everyday Food
I hope you had a very merry and peaceful holiday. Here's wishing you and your family a happy, healthy New Year! See you in 2014!