Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Custard-Style Baked Rice Pudding

Good morning! It sure is a chilly one here today, with obnoxious winds to boot. Poor Isabelle has had a feverish cough for a couple of days, and night times are always the worst when coughing is involved. Ugh. I am so tired! I don't know if we'll be able to do much today, either, with it being so cold and her not feeling well. Anyway, yesterday my parents dropped by for lunch and hung out for a while, which was so nice, and then last night we surprised everyone and ordered Chinese food, rented a movie, and we had a family room picnic. So fun! We were celebrating with take-out for two reasons: 1. Daddy, who leaves every morning by 4:45 so he can get home earlier in the day and works very hard, was recognized at work and received a raise; and 2. I had to grab some groceries with a cranky person beside me and got distracted and forgot a bunch of stuff, so all of the dinners I'd planned on weren't happening.

You'd think I'd be a pro by now. Oh well.  ;)

Onto the recipe... This Baked Rice Pudding is such an easy one, and a great way to use up leftover white rice, either instant or longer-cooking. (I have used a combination of white and brown rice which is okay, but I don't think this recipe would fare well with just brown rice, and not with long grain or obviously flavored rice.) It's a good, warm comfort food in fall and winter, but also yummy for spring or summer when served cool or cold. A dollop of whipped cream doesn't hurt, either.

This has a basic custard recipe as its base, so it isn't that creamy, gooey kind of rice pudding. Saves you some calories and fat, all good.

You'll Need:
3 lightly beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 - 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup cooked rice (I never measure and usually end up with more- it's fine)
1/2 cup raisins (same story there...)
cinnamon and/or nutmeg
rectangular 13x9 and 8x8 dish, able to nest

Preheat oven to 325 F degrees and put some water in a tea kettle to boil, enough to cover the bottom of a 13x9 dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla until well blended but not too frothy or foamy. Next, add in the rice and raisins; stir gently with a spatula or spoon. Pour into an 8x8 dish and sprinkle with cinnamon and/or nutmeg. (I only use nutmeg.) Place this inside the 13x9 dish.

You can either add the boiling water before placing the dishes in the oven, or once they're on the oven rack; I prefer to do this beforehand. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Now, something I no longer do but that the original recipe calls for: after 30 minutes in the oven, stir the pudding; this makes it creamier. I think I used to do this, but then must have forgotten and just never went back to doing it since I love the custard part.

One of my helpers. Always in the kitchen when I'm baking. Silly cat. Oh look, Isabelle is outside playing in her snow gear... these pictures were taken several weeks ago.

 That afternoon got cloudy so the rice pudding looks sort of drab. It's a rich, yellow-cream color in person.

In our house, daughter and Daddy aren't big custard fans, so they generally opt out of this dessert. Crazy, right? It's so good!

PS: Omit the raisins and rice, and you've got a wonderful basic custard recipe, otherwise known as Flan. Cook in the same manner as above, or fill 6 small oven-proof dishes (they might even be called custard cups) in the 13x9 dish, fill with boiling water and bake 35-45 minutes. 
Every fall, my mother made these with apple chunks...delicious! Peel and chop one apple, place several apple chunks in the bottom of each dish, pour custard on top, sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon and bake as directed.

Enjoy! Since it's going to be cold today, I think we'll bake up some of this and make the house smell heavenly.I'm also working on some new tutorials for you- I hope to post them on the Rose & Ruffle blog soon.

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