Leftover white rice usually goes one of two ways in my kitchen, turned into fried rice or turned into rice pudding. Rice pudding is comfort food to me, something that I used to eat in my grandma’s kitchen growing up, and I’ll always have a soft spot for it. That being said, rice pudding isn’t a very glamorous dessert and you don’t necessarily want to bring it out for dessert after a dinner party. To dress up this classic a bit, I used a little baking magic and turned it into a custard pie.
The pie filling is made with cooked white rice. You can use freshly made rice or cold, leftover rice from takeout. It doesn’t matter as long as you have about a cup of it and no seasonings have been added. The rice is combined with sugar, milk, eggs and vanilla, then poured into a pie crust. I added a generous sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon to the top of the pie, as it is a favorite topping of mine for regular rice pudding. The filling will separate slightly during baking, into a denser rice layer and a more tender custard layer. The rice will become softer in the oven, as it absorbs the flavors from the custard, and the finished pie is unquestionably classic rice pudding, even if its form is a little different.
I used a graham cracker pie crust for this particular pie, which is an easy option that adds a little extra sweetness to the pie. That being said, the filling has so much liquid in it that a graham cracker crust will have a hard time staying crisp underneath it. This is particularly true with store-bought crusts, which always seem to have little cracks in them when you get them home. I recommend using a par-baked pastry crust for this recipe if you want the pastry to be crisp, but if you’re ok with a crust that is a little more tender (to put it generously), a graham cracker crust will certainly get the job done and make for an easy-to-slice pie.
I recommend chilling the pie completely before slicing it for the neatest slices, but like traditional rice pudding, it is also quite tasty when it is warm, so feel free to dig in before refrigerating it if you don’t mind your slices in imperfect wedges.
Rice Pudding Pie
1 cup cooked white rice (leftover is fine)
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk (pref. whole)
9-inch pie crust, prebaked and cooled
topping: 2 tbsp brown sugar + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, combine rice, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt, then whisk until smooth and well-combined. Whisk in the milk, then pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie crust.
In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle topping mixture over the custard.
Bake for 45-50 min, until pie is set. Allow pie to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.
Makes 1 pie, serves 8.