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Baked Rice Pudding

Baked Rice Pudding

 Rice pudding is comfort food, no question about it. Sweet and creamy, it’s a relatively substantial custard dish made thick with rice and (usually) studded with juicy raisins. I usually make mine on the stovetop, starting either with leftover rice or with uncooked rice, depending on what is available to me at the moment. I’ve even turned stove-cooked rice pudding into ice cream before. While I like all of these recipes, I can’t help but want to experiment, so this batch of rice pudding got baked in the oven to give it a more custardy consistency.

To put it simply and cut the suspense, baked rice pudding is delicious. This one dish is not only tasty, but it is really interesting because it is essentially two desserts in one. The pudding is a mixture of rice and a sweet custard base, so while it bakes, it separates into two layers: a sweet rice pudding on the bottom and silky smooth custard on top. It is unlike any other rice pudding I’ve tasted. The rice layer is a bit more solid than your average rice pudding, since the weight of the grains pull them down to the bottom of the pan, while the custard/pudding rises to the top, so the first bite can be a bit of a surprise. That said, the two-layer effect doesn’t take anything away from the dish (even if you’re not a fan of the separation at first) because everything mixes together while you eat.

I baked the pudding in a water bath and the custard turned out to be silky smooth as a result. I scraped a vanilla bean into the mix as I put it together, but you can use vanilla extract if you don’t have any whole beans to use. I kept the spices – cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom – to relatively low levels so they didn’t overwhelm the vanilla flavor. Next time I’m going to add in some dried cranberries in addition to the raisins.

Baked Rice Pudding
1 1/4 cups cooked rice
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 vanilla bean
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
2/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325F.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour into an 8×8-inch baking dish.
Place baking dish inside a 9×13-inch baking dish. Transfer to oven and fill outside dish with approx. 4 cups of water to make a water bath.
Bake for 30 minutes, stir, and then bake for an additional 20 minutes (total time approx. 50 minutes). If you don’t want your pudding to form a “skin” on top of the custard, stir more frequently.
Pudding is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean and the pudding is set (gently pushing the pan should produce an even jiggle of the custard).
Remove baking dish from water bath and cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Serves 6-8.

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  • JEP
    February 20, 2008

    Love the sounds of this old-fashion dessert. I may even eat this one for breakfast!

  • jennifer and the beans
    February 20, 2008

    Hmm, no sugar in this recipe?

  • Cathy
    February 20, 2008

    Do you think this would work in a crockpot?

  • veuveclicquot
    February 21, 2008

    ohh yum! it sounds & looks delish. I’ve only had highly sweetened rice pudding, os I’m curious to try one w/o any added sugar. 🙂

  • Jessy
    February 21, 2008

    Hmm this looks good! I have never had rice pudding before, but his makes me want to give it a shot!

  • Jessica
    February 21, 2008

    This looks really interesting, rice pudding and custard all in one!

  • Janey
    February 21, 2008

    I think someone forgot to add the sugar to this recipe.
    It does sound good, though.

  • Carrie
    February 21, 2008

    I made this for dessert tonight and it turned out really great. I added 1/2 c sugar and used evaporated skim milk and it was awesome. Thanks so much!

  • Funkee
    February 23, 2008

    Bummer. I had high hopes for this recipe. My husband loves rice pudding. I followed the recipe to a “T”, it looked great coming out of the oven. And then…. zero taste. SOB! I read the other posts. Guess I’m not the only one. I wish I would have realized salt and/or sugar was not listed in the recipe. Wonder how it’ll taste if I just dump some sugar on the finished product.

  • Marie Presutti
    December 16, 2008

    Just wanted to add if you read this receipe through regarding Baked Rice Pudding February 20 you will see 1/2 cup sugar listed. I haven’t made it yet but I will either add brown sugar to it or Honey

    I love to read these comments Thanks

  • Jen
    February 2, 2009

    Even after an extra 20 minutes in the oven, my pudding didn’t set evenly (and the knife didn’t come out totally clean). It may have with more time but I didn’t want to risk ruining it (and, I want to finally eat some!).

  • Jim
    March 13, 2009

    Here is a rice pudding recipe which works very well.
    1.5 cups 1% milk, 1.5 cups Half and Half, 1/3 cup long grain white rice (raw), 1/4 cup sugar, 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract, 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon, 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg.

    Place Milk and Half and Half in a medium saucepan. Bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent milk from scorching. Add the raw rice, and cook, covered over low heat for about an hour, stirring about every 10 minutes to prevent rice from sticking together. Cook until mixture is thickened and appears curdled. Remove milk and rice from heat, and stir in remaining ingredients while hot. Let stand 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

  • dena
    March 24, 2009

    OMG! This sounds like the exact type of rice pudding served at the Jewish dairy restaurants of my youth! I LOVED that style of rice pudding, eaten warm with cherry sauce poured over it. I am DEFINITELY going to try this recipe! Thank you!

  • marti
    March 28, 2009

    Making this right now….sounds delish! It called for 1/2 c sugar. Am I reading the same rec as everyone else? Will let u know how it comes out 🙂

  • Jibjub
    March 2, 2010

    I made baked rice pudding yesterday, but I like to do it a little differently. I butter a 2 quart casserole dish, and then combine 1 quart (4 cups) of milk, 1/3 cup rice (raw), 1/2 cup of sugar, and I then sprinkle cinnamon over the top. I then baked my rice pudding in a slow (300F) oven for 2 1/2 hours, stirring with a fork every 20 to 30 minutes. Note: after about 1 1/2 hours into the baking process, a crust may form on top. To avoid breaking the crust, at this point, insert a spoon at the edge of pudding and gently draw back and forth. This rice pudding turned out sweet and creamy, and I enjoyed it with a generous dab of whipped cream on top.

  • randy
    March 10, 2010

    try it hot with a little cold cream over right before serving my family from sicily has been making this exact recipe for 100 years or more exept for the spice cardamon

  • randy
    March 10, 2010

    try it hot with a little cold cream over right before serving my family from sicily has been making this exact recipe for 100 years or more exept for the spice cardamon

  • randy
    March 10, 2010

    try it hot with a little cold cream over right before serving my family from sicily has been making this exact recipe for 100 years or more exept for the spice cardamon

  • Nancy
    March 24, 2013

    Looks like the rice pudding my Grandma used to make. I’ve been looking for a similar recipe for years…She also made bread pudding by lightly buttering both sides of decrusted bread squares, laying them in a prepared baking dish and pouring the egg mixture over the top. Sprinkle of nutmeg and bake in a water bath. It was great.

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