Rice pudding is something of a British institution, served up in insipid and stodgy piles in school canteens up and down the land. Yet the inhabitants of these great isles by and large look upon the non-descript white mass that inhabited the pudding bowls of their formative years through some kind of ironic rose-tinted haze, as though nostalgia alone were enough to carry short grain rice into the upper echelons of the pudding hierarchy. Happily, this isn’t always the case and an increasing number of recipes are proving that rice pudding can be incredible – with this rendition I’d happily claim the proof is in the pudding!
One of the problems with an average rice pudding is that it is usually a little watery and flavourless. Semi-skimmed milk is not an option here – if you’re going to make rice pudding you need to go all out. Using a very rich milk will yield an extremely delicious and creamy pudding – it’s a worthy sacrifice. Golden syrup has a similar effect, helping to thicken the sauce and improve the flavour on a fundamental level with a slightly burnished sweetness, in some way making up for the lack of skin – more on that below!
There are two popular ways of preparing rice pudding; you can either boil it or bake it. Boiling your pudding rice will yield a sort of smooth rice porridge which will go down without any trouble whatsoever. The baked version requires a little more thought as it’ll be a bit thicker and have a delicious, brown skin that children have been fighting over for centuries (probably because for most of that time it’s been the only tasty part of a rice pudding). Baked rice pudding also takes a great deal of time (2 hours) – the recipe below is certainly suited to those of you in a hurry. How do you eat yours?
Golden Syrup Rice Pudding
• 70g pudding rice
• 568ml (1 pint) full cream milk
• 40g butter
• 2 tbsp golden syrup
• Whole nutmeg, grated
1. Place you rice, milk, butter and syrup in a saucepan, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve once thick, creamy and soft through with a little freshly grated nutmeg.
Cost: This entire dessert which would easily provide a reasonable portion for four should set you back a mere £1 – good ol’ frugal British traditions!